SUPERVISOR CATHERINE STEFANI
San Francisco is activating the Palace of Fine Arts as a temporary shelter in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At capacity, it will house 162 people in a socially distant and responsible way. That means making sure the facility is not overcrowded and is cleaned with extreme frequency. It also means making sure that everyone is screened for COVID-19 symptoms every time they enter the premises. There will be a strict curfew in place, and the City must abide by all the provisions of the Good Neighbor Policy, which enforces strict standards for light, noise, and cleanliness.
I’m committed to ensuring this facility is well run so that the people inside and out remain safe and secure. I’ve worked with the project manager for 13 years, and know him to be a public servant of the highest caliber. I will be personally touring the facility prior to its opening to make sure that he takes every necessary precaution to protect both those who will be living there and our neighborhood. My office will remain in close communication with neighborhood leaders, as well as the Public Health, Police, Fire, and Sheriff’s Departments throughout the duration of the project. We will work tirelessly to ensure that this effort is a success.
To fight this pandemic, San Francisco has rightly required everyone to shelter-in-place and to keep physical distance from others. Everyone must stay home and stay six feet apart, but we know that not everyone in San Francisco has the ability or resources to meet those requirements -- including those who live in our shelters and other congregate living facilities.
This disease does not discriminate against anyone. Our ability to bend the curve and stop the spread depends on our ability to protect all San Franciscans. As long as any single person is vulnerable, we all are. That’s why it's important we all do everything we can to ensure we are all able to maintain physical distancing.
I have secured a commitment that the City will use local neighborhood food vendors to provide meals as often as possible, so the restaurants we all know and love will benefit from this new business opportunity. Please be in touch if you operate a business and would like to apply to be a food vendor to the Palace during this period. Additionally, I have secured a commitment from the Sheriff to provide additional staffing at the facility as we all adjust to this temporary change.
The first 20-25 neighbors could come to the Palace as early as the end of this week. These will be residents of other shelters in the city, but are otherwise like anyone you might meet here in San Francisco. Many have families and maintained part-time employment prior to the COVID-19 crisis. They all had existing placements and followed the rules required to reside in their previous facilities. They will reside at the Palace until the Shelter-in-Place Order is lifted, and then they will move back to their previous shelter, where their previous beds have been saved for them. In the event anyone becomes symptomatic, they will be quickly isolated and sent to the appropriate off-site medical facilities.
This pandemic is unprecedented in modern history, and to stop the spread we must all step up and do our part. I have been so impressed with our neighbors' compassion, bravery, and resolve during this difficult time.
You can find near-daily updates on the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic on my social media page here. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office at 415-554-7752 or StefaniStaff@sfgov.org.
Office of Supervisor Catherine Stefani
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place,
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 554-7752
Fax: (415) 554-7843