Understanding the 682 S. Main St. Navigation Center/Mixed-Use Project
Frequently Asked Questions
This document was developed by the City of Manteca.
Last updated October 7, 2021.
Navigation Center Overview
1. What is a Navigation Center and how will it operate?
A Navigation Center is an outcome-based shelter for unhoused individuals. Different from a traditional one-night stay shelter, a Navigation Center is a limited-stay program designed to alleviate the pressures of being unsheltered to support an intense focus of looking for work and/or housing. In addition to dormitories, the Navigation Center comes with onsite administration, intake, offices and meeting rooms for operators and residents, dining and community space, bathrooms, showers, and storage.
Unlike a shelter, a Navigation Center does not require individuals to exit the facility each morning, only to return that evening to have a bed. Navigation Centers allow clients to stay at the facility 24 hours, 7 days a week as long as they are showing progress toward their housing goals and working with a case manager. Additionally, a Navigation Center also allows clients to bring their partners, pets, and possessions with them.
2. What is the primary focus of a Navigation Center?
To transition vulnerable, unhoused residents into more stable housing with the ultimate goal of ending their homelessness once and for all.
The Navigation Center follows a “housing first” approach that prioritizes permanent housing to people experiencing homelessness to end their homelessness and serve as a platform to pursue personal goals and improve their quality of life. This approach is guided by the belief that people need basic necessities, such as food and shelter , before attending to other matters, such as getting a job, budgeting properly, or attending to substance use issues. Additionally, "housing first" is based on the theory that the client’s choice is valuable in housing selection, and that exercising their choice is likely to make clients more successful in remaining in housing and improving their life.
Navigation Center Participants
1. Will people who use drugs and alcohol be admitted?
Navigation Centers do not allow drug or alcohol use. Many Navigation Centers and service providers employ a "harm reduction" model: those who participate in the program will not be evicted for substance use, and client referrals will not be limited to only those that are clean and sober. Services to support recovery will be offered and encouraged for those who have a substance abuse problem.
2. Will people who are dealing with mental health issues be admitted?
Mental illness cuts across all socio-economic, ethnic, and cultural boundaries. Unsheltered individuals with mental health issues will be accepted in the Navigation Center. Support services will be provided to help participants seek appropriate medical care and interventions. With appropriate medication (when needed) and a wide range of services tailored to meet their needs, many people who live with mental health challenges can significantly reduce the negative impacts of their condition and find a satisfying measure of achievement and independence.
Navigation Center Logistics/Operations
1. Who will operate the Navigation Center?
The Navigation Center will be operated by a private agency approved by City Council. The City will release a Request for Proposals as we get closer to the completion of the Navigation Center’s construction, which will be sent to agencies who currently provide sheltering or homeless services. Proposals will be scored and the proposer that best fits the City’s requirements will be recommended to City Council in a regularly scheduled City Council meeting for approval.
2. What are the Navigation Center’s rules of conduct?
Rules may vary based on the service operator; generally, any act of violent behavior or use or sale of illegal substances may subject the person to expulsion from the site.
3. Navigation Centers have low-barrier thresholds for entry. What does that mean?
Low-barrier entry is a way to accept people who do not easily come indoors. Our most vulnerable community members may be isolated and not easily trusting. They may have previously sought services without successful outcomes, have mental health or substance use challenges, or have suffered trauma in their lives. These characteristics are not determinants of being accepted into a low-barrier program. Participants, however, need to adhere to community rules of conduct/expectations.
4. If participants are allowed to bring their pets to the Navigation Center, how will they be cared for?
Participants are responsible for the care and supervision of their pets, just as they were when they were living outdoors. Pets must be under the control of their owners at all times.
5. How is privacy provided in gender-neutral restrooms?
Gender-neutral restrooms will be a separate space that can be accessed one person at a time.
6. Is there a designated area for unsheltered individuals who are minors?
At this time, the conceptual plan contemplates living areas for adults and families.
7. What happens if someone is violent at the navigation center or violates other rules?
Violence is not permitted at the Navigation Center and a participants can be removed from the Center should violence occur. The operator will work closely with the Manteca Police Department if support from law enforcement is needed.
Navigation Center Location
1. Does a Navigation Center need to be near social and health services?
Many unsheltered individuals travel by using bicycles,public transportation and typically do not own cars. A Navigation Center should be located near reliable transportation lines so people can access social services and medical services if needed. It is important for Navigation Center participants to independently travel to their services. The Navigation Center is preparing and supporting clients back into a housing lifestyle, which includes learning to independently access needed services. Case management services will be provided on site.
2. Does a Navigation Center need to be near grocery stores, food establishments, and other amenities?
A Navigation Center supports the transition for individuals from living on the street to re-enter housing and residential communities. Close proximity to amenities like grocery stores, banks, food outlets, supports this transition and decreases obstacles in maintaining daily needs.
4. What has been the public input process for selecting a site?
The Navigation Center site selection was presented toCity Council twice:
- December 17, 2019 – eight sites were presented to Council for consideration. The City Council directed City staff to proceed with 555 Industrial Park Drive.
- December 15, 2020 – Council received an update on 555 Industrial Park Drive in which results from an indoor air quality assessment, building rehabilitation costs, and an estimated range for cost to rebuild for purposes as a Navigation Center were presented. Based on the prohibitive cost to rehabilitate or rebuild at 555 Industrial Park Drive, five additional sites were presented to City Council for consideration for a Navigation Center. The City Council directed City staff to proceed with 682 S. Main St.
5. Who owns the property?
682 S. Main St. was purchased by the Manteca Redevelopment Agency (RDA). As part of the 2011 Budget Act, the California legislature approved the dissolution of the state’s 400 RDAs. Successor Agencies were established to manage redevelopment projects currently underway and dispose of redevelopment assets and properties. Each Successor Agency has an Oversight Board that supervises that work. Though the property is owned by the Manteca RDA, the Successor Agency’s Oversight Board is responsible for overseeing and approving the sale of any RDA properties.
6. What other sites were considered?
The following sites were presented to City Council for consideration:
· 255 Northgate Dr.
· 225 W. Center St.
· 224 W. Center St.
· 128 N. Garfield Ave.
· 603, 605, 611, and 617 E. Yosemite Ave.
· 205 E. Wetmore St.
· 555 Industrial Park Dr.
· 1140 Bessemer Ave.
· 682 S. Main St.
· 1190 Spreckels Ave.
1. How much will it cost for the Navigation Center to be built?
The City of Manteca is currently developing conceptual plans including a detailed cost plan, which will provide estimated costs for development of the Navigation Center at 682 S. Main St. Staff will present these estimates at a regularly scheduled City Council meeting in Fall 2021.
2. Who would provide the funding for services provided?
The City is in the beginning planning phases for this project and funding for operations has not been identified at this time. We are currently developing conceptual plans, which will include a detailed cost plan for the operation and maintenance of the facility.
4. How much does it cost to build a “tiny home”?
The cost of “tiny homes” fluctuate greatly on the type of structure, size of structure, amenities included in the structure, and other considerations. The City has seen a demonstration of a “tiny home” that starts at only $10,000/structure; however, that only accounts for the cost of the structure and does not include potential infrastructure needs (electric connection, building pad, etc.). Additionally, that structure did not include bathroom facilities. As the project moves forward, the most cost-efficient solutions that meet the project’s goals will be considered.
5. Is there a city grant writer?
The City contracts with the firm California Consulting to provide grant writing services to all city departments.
Affordable Housing/Commercial Space Information
1. Who builds or owns the affordable housing component?
There are many affordable housing developers throughout California, some of which have constructed facilities within the City of Manteca. It is the City’s intention to release a Request for Proposals to affordable housing developers for the site at 682 S. Main St. to receive their proposals on the construction of the affordable housing component. The proposals will be scored and the proposal that best fits the goals of the project will be recommended to City Council in a regularly scheduled City Council meeting for approval.
2. What is the planning process for affordable housing?
The affordable housing component will follow the same planning process as all other multi-family development. While some site development requirements may differ for affordable housing projects, the process is the same.
3. Could the commercial space include training opportunities?
The City will be releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to receive proposals on the construction of the affordable housing component. That RFP will include some components the City and community would like to see in the commercial space. Commercial entities that can include training may be one of those components.