Sunday, February 28, 2016

Homeless Holdouts Remain Despite City Order

Several homeless holdouts continue to defy San Francisco's expired order to move out from under the Central Freeway.  On Tuesday night, the city's health department gave homeless residents living along Division and 13th streets under the freeway a notice of 72 hours to move out after they declared those streets a health hazard and a bane to nearby residents and businesses.  At its height, around 140 tents populated the area (ABC).  Many city outreach workers went from tent to tent to offer their resources and to persuade campers to leave the area (SF).

Once Friday came, many people moved away from under the freeway and moved to less crowded streets, while others moved to the city's new shelter at Pier 80.  However, many campers still remain in the area and resists the city's orders to leave.  San Francisco has had a long standing issue housing its homeless but it seems that tensions have worsened due to the shortages of affordable housing in the midst of a tech-based job boom (ABC).

Police have not been needed to forcibly remove anyone out.  It is unclear what city officials will do with the remaining campers who refuse the order.

What do you think? Could city officials have handled this issue in a better way? What should city officials do with the remaining campers? How should the issue of homelessness in SF be approached?


Jessica Yeh said...

Homelessness in the city is a very large problem, and that is due in part to the fact that many people see homeless people as more of a problem than they are people. The treatment of the homeless with the construction of Super Bowl City was awful, and gentrification on a larger scale is a huge ongoing issue in San Francisco. While asking the homeless to move out from under the freeway is okay if it is a problem, they should definitely be given other options of where they can go, since being forced away from the closest thing you have to a home is not easy. It is a step that there were outreach workers helping and a new shelter at Pier 80. Ideally more money could be diverted into helping the homeless from the huge sums probably earned from things like Super Bowl City that forced them out in the first place. It is a tricky issue, but just some more compassion is good.

Tara Young said...

I agree with Jessica's points. It is good that the city offered housing at the shelter and other resources to the homeless. If the large concentration of homeless people living under the freeway is a problem, then the city should have the right to make them move since it is effecting the general public also. Since the police have not needed to forcibly remove the homeless, hopefully, enough have voluntarily moved away that the problem diminished enough. Or maybe the police will be able to remove the people without huge disturbances or violence erupting. It is good that the city has a new shelter and hopefully, since there is a shortage, that more homeless shelters could be built. Since it seems like a giant problem, the city should do something to help as many of the people as possible, like building even more new shelters and food banks, and raising money to help the homeless.

Danny Halawi said...

I see more of a moral conflict with this issue. In my opinion, it's simply not right to kick these people out of the place they've been living for years. The closest thing these homeless people have to comfort is the locations in the San Francisco where they've been trying to survive and live in peace. If the city wants to kick them out to make more room for the privileged, then they should at least propose an actual legitimate solution. To be honest, the reason why they're probably not leaving is because they have nowhere to go instead. Maybe if the city wants them to leave, then give them a practical option of somewhere they can go.