REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KRON) – San Mateo County is taking a new approach to help solve homelessness. The county opened its first $57 million “navigation center” on Tuesday.
“What we wanted was this to be more than a shelter, a feeling of welcoming home,” said Mike Callagy, the county chief executive.
Unlike most shelters with cots and bunk beds, this navigation center is different. The center has space for 260 people.
It will allow them to bring their dogs and allow couples to room together. There is also a community garden along with on-site support services, including the first in the nation to have onsite dental services.
The county hopes the navigation center will be the model for other counties across the state. County officials are hoping the center will help them reach “functional zero,” where every unsheltered person in San Mateo who chooses assistance can be sheltered and move forward in life.