Nob Hill neighbors seek to block mental-health clinic relocation

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Neighbors and boutique hotel operators are worried tourists will be scared by the mental health provider's clients.
IMAGE VIA GOOGLE STREET VIEW

A San Francisco mental-health clinic that has been in operation since 1975 is in danger of shutting down if it can’t find a new place to operate. But its possible relocation to medical offices on Hyde Street, subject to city approval, has prompted neighbors to organize in opposition.

Cindy Gyori, executive director of Hyde Street Community Services, has been scrambling to find a new home for her organization since being hit with the news of a pending rent increase. Its Tenderloin Mental Health Clinic serves about 1,200 clients per year, making it the third-largest outpatient clinic in the city.

Rent in its current space, on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin, is about to increase to almost double, Gyori said. Larkin Street Youth Services, another service provider in the process of consolidating to a single location, is lined up to rent the entire building. That means the clinic must relocate by Sept. 15, Gyori said.

When she first began the search, “It was impossible to find an adequate space,” she explained. Several possibilities would have required months of renovation, impossible to accomplish given the time constraint. But 815 Hyde Street, a medical office building connected to St. Francis Memorial Hospital, seemed viable. “We’ve really been focusing on moving there,” she said. Negotiations have been underway for several months.

The clinic serves individuals dealing with mental illness, past exposure to trauma, or substance abuse problems, making it just the sort of facility that's needed to stabilize a population that's at risk of homelessness, or in recovery from life on the streets.

But neighborhood resistance to the clinic's planned move is proving to be problematic. “We’re getting pushback from some individuals in the community, who are concerned about our clients, and their behavior, and whether it would be disruptive to the community,” she said. The new facility would be at the Nob Hill intersection of Hyde and Bush streets. A boutique hotel is located nearby, and the area is regularly saturated with tourists.

Hyde Street Community Services is contracted with the San Francisco Department of Public Health to provide care for Central City residents. That means the Health Commission must sign off on any relocation proposal. But at a June 17 committee meeting, health commissioners opted to delay approval in the face of vociferous neighborhood opposition. They directed the nonprofit to hold community meetings about the planned relocation, tabling the vote till July 15.

Robert Garcia, president of Save Our Streets, is organizing neighborhood opposition. “This area, lower Nob Hill, is an historic hotel and apartment district,” he said in an interview. “There are a lot of tourists here.”

He described Save Our Streets as a “not-for-profit neighborhood group” that for years has engaged in “fighting crime, and [fighting] a lot of prostitution.” He added, “We live here. This is our neighborhood. We’re not asking for anything, just trying to protect what belongs to us – and that’s our neighborhood.”

“We just don’t need any more problems here,” Garcia went on. “When they’re bringing in people with behavioral problems, that says something.”

The delay has left Gyori in a bit of limbo. “The time crunch is really problematic,” she said, emphasizing that if the move to 815 Hyde Street does not go as planned, and the clinic cannot find any other options, then it could be forced to shut its doors.

“We want to respond to the community as best we can,” she added. “People said they were afraid they would see streams of shopping carts headed up Hyde Street,” she noted, but sees this notion as a misinformed reaction to the people who congregate on the sidewalk on Golden Gate. “We have to convince the neighborhood people that the people on the street in the Tenderloin aren’t the same as our clients,” she said. “The number one complaint from our clients, mostly, is that they have to run the gauntlet to get through the door,” she added. 

The first of the community meetings will be held tomorrow, June 26, at the Hotel Carlton, 1075 Sutter, from 6:30 to 8pm.

Comments

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2014 @ 2:30 pm

I live near there and I'm comfortable with the clinic being there. But it's not up to me to decide, nor should it be.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2014 @ 8:39 pm

I already have a bunch of those places right near me. It seems like other places should take on a share of the burden, no?
If not, yea, I'll take another one.

Posted by Guest ethan davidson on Jul. 03, 2014 @ 7:17 pm

BUT JUST NOT IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD......

Posted by NIMBY Libs on Jun. 25, 2014 @ 2:49 pm

I had no idea. But isn't it great being rich?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2014 @ 3:16 pm

one day you or someone you care about might need help - where are you going to go????? DISGUSTING

Posted by Guest on Jun. 26, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

Gee, do ya not want a bunch of mental cases running around your neighborhood. Does wonders for property values. OK, well then THINK OF THE CHILDREN, should they be exposed to such things , Oh, sorry this is SF where it's a everyday event.

Posted by Claptrap on Jun. 25, 2014 @ 3:38 pm

gee, do you want to see someone in your family with mental health issues not be able to get help because some idiot cannot explain to their child that someone who is ill is seeking and receiving help so there are no clinics?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 26, 2014 @ 2:57 pm

We could solve the problem over a sushi dinner tonight.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2014 @ 3:45 pm

Its entertaining to see this paper writing an editorial about how NIMBYs are gaming the system, when there have been numerous articles written that were basically pro NIMBY

Posted by Ben Dover on Jun. 25, 2014 @ 4:32 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2014 @ 4:34 pm

Why not lease out the Genetech buses between 9-4 when they are not in use and transport these nuts and drug addicts to South City or anywhere out of the city where mental health building rents will be cheaper, and there is the possibility they will walk away and not return to the City. Its a win win.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2014 @ 4:43 pm

Oakland!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2014 @ 8:48 pm

for the mentally ill and the homeless

They have space and no money. We have money and no space. Perfect fit.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 26, 2014 @ 5:52 am

No, it's not.

Posted by Guest ethan davidson on Jul. 03, 2014 @ 7:19 pm

NOW you recognize that surrounding communities have too much say over what people do with their property in SF. Funny, that.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

NIMBY's doing God's work right there. Finally, not just trying to preserve their views of the bay, but doing public good.

If you're a nutjob, may as well be in Fresno as on Nob Hill, costing the tax payers a fortune.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2014 @ 6:28 pm

Only if I'm allowed to own a gun. I don't want a loony bin that close to home.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 26, 2014 @ 8:22 am

Wow! Can't believe all of these hateful comments, especially in the SFBG. Do they have any idea how many people, families, friends, loved ones are surrounding them who have some type of mental illness? Guess if they can just get their hands on enough valium and medical marijuana they don't have to worry about the rest of their society. They should move out to the 'burbs where they can ignore their neighbors, hope to not have to see or speak to anyone, and hide their children behind their locked doors.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 26, 2014 @ 3:01 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 26, 2014 @ 3:38 pm

BAD IDEA!

STAY WHERE YOU ARE!

YOU WILL RUIN OUR STREET!

WE DON'T WANT YOU ON OUR STREET!

MENTAL HEALTH = NOT STABLE = BAD FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD!

HOMELESS = LAZY!

They are moving up the street because the clinic director Cindy Gyori just wants a nicer place. They are going to pay equal rent. If rent is the issue they should go where it's CHEAPER not EQUAL. And they should move to a less condensed area where there's no tourists!

It's a tight fit already and adding 15,000+ treatments to the street block is going to ruin the area. There's no room for a clinic on Hyde and Bush! And the loitering will pollute our streets! There's no denying it.

Two-thirds of the clinic's mental cases are HOMELESS MALES, increasing a threat to everyone's safety, especially of women and children!

99% of the mental cases live in the Tenderloin where the clinic already is! They don't need to move. The city needs to keep them where they are by providing funding or ruling rent control.

There's no benefit to moving to Lower Nob Hill. It is not a positive change! The clinic should stay where it is and make the TL a better place.

Moving won't solve anything, but Cindy Gyori's paycheck!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 27, 2014 @ 10:48 am

How about the Tenderloin Housing Clinic's abandoned buliding on Turk? Its the perfect location and could stop the urban blight Randy Shaw is causing.

Posted by roflynn on Jul. 02, 2014 @ 1:45 pm

What have you done apart from whine?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 02, 2014 @ 1:52 pm

I think a good location for this clinic would be Sacramento Street in Pacific Heights. Or maybe upper Fillmore Street.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 02, 2014 @ 2:39 pm

nobody would notice a few more insane folks among all them.

The Mish? The TL? Bayview?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 02, 2014 @ 2:57 pm

This clinic has been in the lower Tenderloin since 1975, that is, it serves the lower Tenderloin community. Why doesn't it stay in that area rather than move to the Tendernob/Lower Nob Hill area?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 02, 2014 @ 2:57 pm

Wow...just wow. So many ignorant and misinformed people on here. What part don't you people get that these clients are NOT homeless, but if this clinic closes down will become homeless because they will not be able to function without their meds? You want to complain, but I'm sure you will have a lot more to complain about when people don't have access to their meds and end up on the streets unmedicated for their issues. I am sorry but since when did lower nob hill/tendernob become such a hoity toity neighborhood? Last I checked there are plenty of tranny prostitutes, bums, drug dealers and the like in that area so stop acting like you live in Beverley hills. If you want to live in a "bubble" move the F out of the city, or into a nicer neighborhood like Noe Valley...oh wait none of you can afford to do that STFU deal with the fact you live in a neighborhood that IS the Tenderloin...there is no such neighborhood as "lower nob hill" so get off it. YOU LIVE IN THE TENDERLOIN NOT NOB HILL!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 02, 2014 @ 3:59 pm

and thereby attract ten times their number to relocate to SF because we are so damn generous with other peoples' money

Posted by Guest on Jul. 02, 2014 @ 4:25 pm

I live on California between Leavenworth and Hyde for 17 years. I personally understand the need for the clinic to move. I also believe having the center located right across from a hospital who can treat a psych patient is a good idea. Please keep in mind this is a central location that is close to bart as well as connecting muni lines. These people already live across from a pretty lively hospital who treat a huge variety of people already. I would rather that than another art school building or yuppie bar where people act like it was the first time they have ever been to one. I have signed my real name. At least have the guts to post your real name if you are going to spew the hatred.

Posted by Kurt Tindle on Jul. 02, 2014 @ 4:04 pm

I live on California between Leavenworth and Hyde for 17 years. I personally understand the need for the clinic to move. I also believe having the center located right across from a hospital who can treat a psych patient is a good idea. Please keep in mind this is a central location that is close to bart as well as connecting muni lines. These people already live across from a pretty lively hospital who treat a huge variety of people already. I would rather that than another art school building or yuppie bar where people act like it was the first time they have ever been to one. I have also used my real name. If you want to post hatred and negativity at least have the guts to sign with your real name. Cowards!

Posted by Kurt Tindle on Jul. 02, 2014 @ 4:07 pm

Robert Garcia is a waste of a human being. He does zero for the community.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2014 @ 9:29 am

I have been a patient at this location for over 10 years, and to raise the rent and kick out the tenants is the way of life here in SF, where I was born! To object to its relocation won't change anything! Having to deal with the daily tortures of being in the Tenderloin at the clinic's present location is a change I'd welcome!
I co not smoke crack, aggressively panhandle or urinate in the street! This is what I have to endure every time I visit the place to receive the treatment that has helped me deal with living life in this ass-backward city whose priorities are all about making a quick buck at my and YOUR expense! Wake up, folks, and snell the decaf! We need this place!

Posted by Guest Michele on Jul. 05, 2014 @ 10:33 am
Posted by Guest on Jul. 05, 2014 @ 11:26 am

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