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Complaints over Urban Alchemy's Bayview facility draws federal inspection

Urban Alchemy was touted as a partial solution to people living in broken down recreational vehicles on the streets of San Francisco. For two years, it has run the Bayview RV triage center, providing resources to get the unhoused back on their feet.

NBC Bay Area has now learned that a recent federal inspection of the facility did not go well.

Urban Alchemy in its literature said it deals with homeless and other social issues with compassion. But those who have lived at the Bayview facility said they have not seen it. The center provides 24/7 staffing and security, bathrooms, and shower facilities, according to its website.

It is also a place where people can get their RVs fixed by a mechanic while they continue living inside.

The goal, according to Urban Alchemy’s website, is the program would ultimately lead to a permanent exit from homelessness.

Marcelo, a former resident who did not provide his last name, said jail is better than living at the Urban Alchemy facility.

Although it is supposed to be a transitional facility, Marcelo said he lived there almost two years. He is now back on the streets because of strict rules.

The gated grounds have a no-visitor policy, but people can come and go.

NBC Bay Area learned late last week a federal housing and urban development inspector visited the site after getting complaints about possible ADA violations.

A source with direct knowledge of the visit said the inspector did not like what was uncovered.

A workers told NBC Bay Area on Monday no one was available to answer any questions. NBC Bay Area also left messages on Monday with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office and Urban Alchemy.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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