Effective Feb. 15, 2014, homeless people in San Francisco can get access to a 90-day bed in the city's emergency adult shelter system by calling the 311 telephone system.
Each morning, 311 will conduct a lottery and generate random and unique sequential reservation waitlist numbers for previous day’s entries. New entries will be added to the bottom of the previous day’s Shelter Reservation waitlist. The Wait List Seniority Report will be updated each working day around 10 a.m. Following the update, 311 will make shelter reservations for those clients at the top of the wait list based on the number of 90-day beds released that day.
Those not receiving a reservation will move up on the waitlist. Some individuals may stay at the top of the list longer if they have chosen not to stay at specific shelters. If you are at the top of the list, it is important that you call 3-1-1 or 415-701-2311, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. so that 311 can assist you with a reservation.
If you want to get added to the waitlist or have questions regarding your waitlist position, you may call the Customer Service Center 24x7x365 at 3-1-1 or 415-701-2311 or visit a Resource Center during their hours of operation.
Homeless people may use the 311 telephone system to reserve a bed for up to 90 days, using a unique identifying number to determine their spot on a waitlist, and be notified with a voice or text message. They would then have 10 days to call 311 and accept the reservation.
This method aims to move homeless people away from lining up at resource centers before they open — sometimes by sleeping outside overnight. It would eliminate the advantage people at the front of the line would have, according to a memo from the mayor’s office on homelessness, and could also prevent conflicts over where people’s places are in line.
Amanda Kahn Fried, deputy director of the mayor’s homeless policy office, said it would also ease people who find it physically challenging to wait in line.
“The system was designed to make it easier for people to access shelter — particularly people with disabilities,” she said. “A case worker can certainly assist someone to sign up through 311, provided they are already in CHANGES and have a current TB test.”
Anyone interested in signing up for the program may call 311 or visit one of the following shelter reservation sites:
MSC South Drop-In, 525 Fifth Street, (415) 597-7960 every day, 24 hours
United Council of Human Services - Resource Center (aka Mother Brown's), 2111 Jennings Street, (415) 671-1100 every day, 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, 165 Capp Street, (415) 869-7977 Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. - Noon and 2:00 p.m. - 7 p.m. (*Thursdays and Fridays, until 8 p.m.) Saturday: 7 a.m. - Noon
Glide Walk-In Center, 330 Ellis Street, (415) 674-6012
Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Customer service representatives at 311 are able to communicate with those who are in need of emergency shelter in more than 176 languages.