Coronavirus Resource Guide for Vehicle Dwellers in San Francisco and Berkeley

Yesica Prado / San Francisco Public Press and CatchLight Local

Floyd Brown Jr. wears a green facecloth mask and holds a portable hand sanitizer after LifeLong Medical staff tested him for the COVID-19 virus at the RV community on Eighth and Harrison streets in West Berkeley on Friday, May 8, 2020.

UPDATED July 22, 2020: Updated number of cases worldwide and various resource details.

Photojournalist Yesica Prado, a fellow with the CatchLight Local fellowship program, assembled this resource guide as part of her ongoing project examining the culture of vehicle living in San Francisco and Berkeley. CatchLight, DysturbThe Everyday Projects and the San Francisco Public Press collaborated to produce this guide for printed posters, which are posted where vehicle dwellers would likely see them. The aim is to improve access to locally relevant public health information as part of the Artists Against an #Infodemic Initiative

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General COVID-19 Info

The coronavirus disease known as COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In COVID-19, CO stands for corona, VI for virus, and D for disease.

Symptoms often include cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms also include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

In December 2019, the outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China. COVID-19 has spread worldwide, resulting in an ongoing pandemic that has infected nearly 15 million people.

How Coronavirus Spreads

The disease is primarily spread from person to person through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land on other people, surfaces or objects. A person can become contagious with COVID-19 after touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. Spread is more likely indoors and when people are in close contact.

The virus has been detected in people who show no symptoms. People who have a COVID-19 infection, with or without symptoms, are infectious for at least 10 days but can continue to be infectious for weeks. If you are infected or have come in contact with someone who is infected, isolation is recommended. This means you should avoid indoor community spaces and stay at least 6 feet away from other people for at least 10 days and until symptoms have been gone for 72 hours.

COVID-19 is very contagious. Taking precautions is essential.

Prevention Measures

You can do many things to protect yourself and the people around you, and stop the spread of COVID-19:

  1. Cover coughs and sneezes.
  2. Wear a facemask or any fabric covering over your mouth and nose in public and near other people.
  3. Maintain a distance of 6 feet from people who are not part of your household or daily living group.
  4. Try to avoid crowded public settings and public transportation.
  5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  6. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as often as possible. If you are not able to wash your hands with soap and water, using hand sanitizer containing 60% alcohol is a good alternative. 
  7. If wearing reusable or disposable gloves, always wash your hands immediately after removing gloves, and especially after any contact with a person who is sick.
  8. Set up tents/sleeping quarters in an area that is at least 12 feet by 12 feet, and at least 6 feet away from others.
  9. Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces inside your vehicle or tent. Designate a “hot spot” for outside items to sit before disinfecting.
  10. Disinfect surfaces and commonly used items like your headlamp, keys and phone with sanitizing wipes or alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol. A diluted bleach solution may also be used to disinfect hard, nonporous surfaces — but do not use on electronics. Unexpired household bleach is effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted. Mix one-third cup of bleach per gallon of water, or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water. Bleach solutions are effective for disinfection for up to 24 hours.
  11. Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals. Do not gather in groups with other dog owners, and stay out of crowded places to help maintain social distancing. Do not let other people pet your dog when you are out for a walk.
On a Sunday afternoon, Christian Torres cooks hamburgers on a Jetboil camping stove in late October 2018. His new daily routine after the coronavirus outbreak is cleaning frequently touched surfaces and washing hands as often as possible, especially before cooking. Torres designates the front driver seats as a “hot spot” inside the vehicle before disinfecting outside items.
On a Sunday afternoon, Christian Torres cooks hamburgers on a Jetboil camping stove in late October 2018. His new daily routine after the coronavirus outbreak is cleaning frequently touched surfaces and washing hands as often as possible, especially before cooking. Torres designates the front driver seats as a “hot spot” inside the vehicle before disinfecting outside items.


Many nonprofits providing services for unhoused residents have modified their programs to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The information below outlines current services available throughout the community.

St. Anthony’s — 45 Jones St. (near Golden Gate Avenue)

Free pre-packaged to-go meals: One meal per person. Meals are available daily from 10 to 11:45 a.m. for adults aged 60 and above, and for families with children. Meals are available for all other adults daily from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Meals are distributed from the dining room entrances on Jones Street and Golden Gate Avenue. Free clothing and hygiene kits are provided curbside on Golden Gate Avenue. No restrooms or public showers are available at this time.

Medical clinic: Non-emergency medical care by appointment only. Call (415) 241-8320 to make an appointment.

For more information, visit the resource tent on Golden Gate Avenue or call (415) 241-2600.

Glide — 330 Ellis St.

Free hot meals available in takeout containers. Breakfast is provided daily from 8 to 9 a.m. Dinner is provided Monday through Friday from 4 to 5 p.m. Bagged meals are provided following breakfast service on Saturday and Sunday. Contact: 415-674-6040

Tenderloin Neighborhood Testing Site: COVID-19 Testing every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Glide parking lot.

Triage, hygiene, information and referrals including COVID-19 testing registration are offered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Glide lobby.

HIV and Hepatitis C Harm Reduction and Services Testing: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Glide lobby.

Mother Brown’s Dining Room — 2111 Jennings St.

Takeout meals provided Monday through Friday. Breakfast is served at 7:30 a.m. Dinner is served at 4:30 p.m.

Shower, laundry and mail services are provided daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Restrooms are available 24 hours a day.

Lockers are accessible from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. A refundable deposit of $5 is required, and a maintenance fee of $2 is charged monthly.

Contact: 415-671-1100 

Martin de Porres House of Hospitality — 225 Potrero Ave.

Takeout meals provided Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. Breakfast is served at 9 a.m. on Sundays and Mondays. Bathrooms and showers are temporarily closed. Contact: 415-552-0240

Mission Neighborhood Health Center — 165 Capp St. 

Shower and laundry services provided at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday. On Wednesday and Thursday, these services are also available at 1:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Only 10 people are allowed each shift. Other services such as case management, therapy and medical visits are handled by appointment. Contact: 415-869-7977

United Council of Human Services — 2111 Jennings St.

Bagged meals are provided all day. Breakfast is served from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and hot dinners from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Shower and laundry services are also provided every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Contact: 415-671-1100

San Francisco Marin Food Bank — 900 Pennsylvania Ave.

The selection of items available varies daily. Distributions usually include fresh fruits, vegetables, a protein item (e.g. eggs, frozen chicken or frozen pork), and rice or another grain. Sometimes juice, milk, spices and other shelf-stable items are also available. You are welcome to visit the pantry once a week.

Groceries are available for pickup at these times:

  • Sunday — 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Monday — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Thursday — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday — 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Contact: 415-282-1900

New pop-out pantries throughout San Francisco. These pantries do not require registration.


  • Golden Gate Park Senior Center, 601 Fulton St. — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • San Francisco Ballet, 333 Fulton St. — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


  • Cesar Chavez Elementary, 825 Shotwell St. — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Mission High School, 3750 18th St. — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


  • Kezar Stadium, 670 Kezar Drive — noon to 4 p.m.
  • Stonestown YMCA, 333 Eucalyptus Drive — noon to 4 p.m.


  • Bessie Carmichael Elementary, 375 7th St. — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


  • Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave. (Daly City) — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Oracle Parking Lot (Drive-up), 74 Mission Rock St. — Cars line up on the southern side of Terry A. Francois Boulevard — [coming soon]


  • Minnie & Lovie Ward Recreation Center, 650 Capitol Ave. — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Oracle Parking Lot (Walk-up), 74 Mission Rock St. — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

San Francisco Unified School District — various locations

Children and families can pick up grab-and-go meals at many SFUSD school sites. You don’t need to bring an ID or a child with you to pick up meals. See for a complete list of locations.

Hand Wash Station & Portable Toilets Map


Many nonprofits providing services for unhoused residents have modified their programs to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The information below outlines current services available throughout the community.

Berkeley Community Resource Center/Dorothy Day House — 1391 Center St.  

Breakfast/lunch box style to go. Served on the parking lot side at 8:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Open seven days a week. Sign-up on the courtyard side between 8:15 and 9 a.m. every day for next day access to 16 showers and three laundry stations, which are available from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. daily. Contact: Robbi Monoyoya, (510) 705-1325 & (510) 228-7587. 

Berkeley Drop-In Center — 3234 Adeline

Assistance accessing SSI benefits and mail services are available Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3p.m. Peer support assistance by phone. Hygiene products available. Drop in facility closed for public gatherings. No bathroom access. Contact:, (510) 653-3808. 

Berkeley Food and Housing Project Community Meal — 1744 University Ave.

Lunch bag to-go service provided Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Spaghetti dinner on Wednesday from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Contact: (510) 649-4965. 

Berkeley Mental Health — 1521 University Ave.  

Doors are open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon, and Fridays from 1 p.m. 3 p.m. for client assessments. Contact: (510) 981-5280. 

Downtown Streets Team — phone only

Case management and employment services by phone. Continuing to provide weekly basic needs stipends for existing Team Member participants. Contact: Victor Mavedzenge, (510) 390-3512.

Homeless Action Center

Drop-in and mail services are available Monday through Thursday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m, with staff meeting clients curbside to maintain social distancing. Email or call Amy Orgain if you have problems receiving SSI, GA, food stamps or Medi-Cal benefits. Disability hearings are phone hearings only. Contact: Amy Orgain, or call (510) 540-0878

East Bay Community Law Centerphone only

No in-person visits, but legal advice to contest parking tickets or vehicle towing is available by phone Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free legal aid for those facing eviction or other housing crises, as well as counseling on tenants’ rights. Contact: (510) 548-4040

Lifelong Medical Center — phone only

Closed to in-person visits until further notice. Call (510) 981-4100 to schedule a phone visit with a doctor. Call (510) 653-8500 for a visit with a dentist. Lifelong is offering COVID-19 testing for symptomatic patients. Call the main line to go through a phone screening to receive a referral to a testing site in Oakland or Richmond. Contact: Mukund Raguram, (510) 932-3962.

North County Housing Resource Center

No walk-in service. Call (510) 495-0131 for assessments by phone Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.

UC Berkeley Homeless Outreach

Limited morning outreach to provide information and hand sanitizer, address basic needs and communicate about individuals’ needs and concerns to the city. Available other times by phone and text. Contact: Ari Neulight, (510) 365-4394.

West Campus Shower Program — 2100 Browning St.

New expanded shower program. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon, and Saturday and Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. Towels and soap are provided.

Willard Pool Shower Program — 2701 Telegraph Ave.

Expanded hours. Towels and soap are provided. Open Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon. 

Dignity on Wheels — 1 Bolivar Drive

Showers and laundry services available on a first-come basis. Check in at the registration table to receive a number for your turn. Seven-minute showers in a private shower room. Wash up to two sets of clothing. Every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon.

Second location  – 601 Cedar St.

Showers and laundry services available Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m.

Women’s Daytime Drop-In Center — 2218 Acton St.

Referrals and assistance by phone Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Resources include to-go food, hygiene products and diapers. Limited staff on site. Drop-in facility is not open for public gathering. Contact: (510) 548-2884 or contact Leslie Berkler at (510) 479-4573, 

Berkeley Food Pantry — 1600 Sacramento St.

Monthly emergency groceries provided, which may require cooking. Come between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to pick up an appointment slip and return during your assigned time to pick up groceries. All appointments will be scheduled between 2 and 4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Contact: 510-525-2280

Hand Wash Station & Portable Toilets Map

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