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Mayor backs off from building rehab facility in SF Chinatown

Following a storm of protest, San Francisco Mayor London Breed has reversed the decision to build a sober living facility in Chinatown.

Breed told ABC7 News there was little public support for the center set to open at the location of the North Beach Hotel on Kearny Street.

“It couldn’t have happened at a worse time, in the middle of Chinese New Year,” said Eva Lee of the Chinatown Merchant Association. “I was alarmed. It was a little unsettling.”

In her statement to NBC Bay Area, Breed said “After meeting with many community members, we have decided to pursue an alternative location for the Sober Living project that had been proposed at the North Beach Hotel. For this critical new program to be successful, it’s important for it to have support from the surrounding community. It became clear from my conversations with many in the area that this support was not there.

The proposal would have turned the 150-room hotel into a residence for those trying to kick their drug habit.

Community members in Chinatown say they were never consulted on the proposal and only learned of it through the media.

The Tenderloin Housing Clinic, which would have overseen the site, called the news disappointing.

“There was a tremendous amount of misinformation and falsehoods spread in the community about the project,” Shaw said. “The community was saying it would be a homeless shelter or sober living means drug addicts when it’s the opposite. Chinatown has been very effective at stopping permanent supportive housing and there is no permanent supportive housing in Chinatown and North Beach.”

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