SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Opposition to the proposed homeless navigation center along San Francisco’s Embarcadero has a new champion. Paneez Kosarian, the woman who was attacked by a homeless man while trying to enter her condo building is now denouncing the city’s decision to build a homeless shelter with supportive services next to where she lives.
”It’s simply that that we just don’t feel safe and we have really good reasons, the city can no longer deny our concerns about safety,” Kosarian said at a press conference Sunday.
She was emotional speaking to the crowd as she relived her attack, “please take action, don’t build this here. You don’t have the capability to properly manage it,” she urged city leaders tearfully.
The 200 bed navigation center is part of Mayor London Breed’s promise to build 1,000 new shelter beds by 2020. It’s been the center of a GoFundMe fight between the group Safe Embarcadero for All which opposes the center, and more silent supporters who back the city’s decision to build more navigation centers.
Mayor Breed was shouted down at a community meeting about the navigation center in April.
Sunday the Mayor released a statement saying in part, “We know the data shows there is no link between the creation of a navigation center and an increase in crime in the surrounding area. Allowing people to suffer on the street without providing resources will only make the challenges we face more severe.”
”The navigation center isn’t there yet so saying the navigation center somehow caused this attack is magical thinking and that’s me putting it nicely,” Sonja Trauss said.
Trauss co-founded San Francisco’s YIMBY party, short for Yes In My Backyard.
Trauss says the video was horrific, but says blocking the navigation center won’t solve the city’s homelessness problem.
”I hate this, everyone hates this, but the path is not to shut down social services, the path is to have more social services,” Trauss said.
Kosarian was critical of Judge Christine Van Aken who released her attacker 25-year-old Austin Vincent after his hearing last week. Judge Van Aken said she had not seen the video of the attack, and after seeing it the following day on the news she retroactively ordered Vincent wear an ankle monitoring device at all times.
A compliance hearing to ensure Vincent is wearing his tracking device is scheduled for Monday morning in San Francisco, Vincent is not required to be present.