Funding for public showers across San Francisco was combined with funding for bathrooms in this fiscal year’s budget, leaving advocates and service providers doubtful that the showers will actually be implemented.
The Coalition on Homelessness’s original budget request called for $1,070,636 as a stand-alone program through fiscal years 2022 and 2023. These funds would have been sufficient to provide 112,000 showers free of charge in locations in the Mission, Bayview and Haight.
However, in the City’s final budget, funding for showers was combined with funding for Pit Stop bathrooms for a total of only $1 million over two years.
Currently, unhoused people have extremely limited access to showers. In the Haight, there are no free showers available, and in the Mission, showers are only available for limited hours despite high demand. The City’s failure to provide accessible sanitation services contributes to the overwhelming stigma that unhoused people already face in our city. It impairs people’s ability to find and keep work, and affects relationships with friends, family and community.