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Dueling GoFundMe Campaigns Highlight a San Francisco NIMBY Battle

A group called Safe Embarcadero turned to crowdfunding to help bankroll a legal fight against Mayor London Breed's planned navigation center for homeless residents. Then came the counterattack.
A plan to construct a center for homeless services in San Francisco's Embarcadero has inspired dueling crowdfunding campaigns from foes and supporters.
A plan to construct a center for homeless services in San Francisco's Embarcadero has inspired dueling crowdfunding campaigns from foes and supporters.Robert Galbraith/Reuters

Last month, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced a plan to build a “navigation center” for homeless residents in a wealthy waterfront neighborhood parking lot. A vocal group of locals objected to the new facility, a 24-hour hub that will offer a range of social services.

Residents and business owners from along the Embarcadero — a swath of communities that includes South Beach, Rincon Hill, Bayside Village, and Mission Bay — first aired their concerns over the center in public meetings. The usual issues emerged: worries about crime and property values; fears that kids would soon be toddling down syringe-littered sidewalks. But then the neighborhood did something a little more unusual for Bay Area NIMBYs. They went online to crowdfund an opposition campaign.