San Francisco is pulling out all the stops to fight homelessness – except making housing affordable​

San Francisco is one among the wealthiest cities in the US, however its excessive housing costs and strict zoning have contributed to a homelessness disaster. The metropolis has declared battle on its tough sleepers – as a result of housing them is too simple.​

The newest offensive in the metropolis’s “battle on homelessness” is sidewalk boulders – large rocks positioned alongside the sidewalk to deter homeless encampments. San Franciscans in the Mission Dolores neighborhood raised $2,000 to line their sidewalk with 24 giant boulders to cease the homeless from establishing camp, utilizing and promoting medication, and in any other case decreasing the high quality of life.​

The plan, to date, has made issues worse – the homeless arrange tents anyway, forcing those that truly need to use the sidewalk for its supposed function to stroll on the road, and a few locals have taken it upon themselves to take away the rocks – both by pushing them onto the road or (in the case of 1 enterprising lady) by itemizing them on Craigslist.​

It’s simple to sympathize with the residents – pressured to pool their sources to make their neighborhood secure as a result of the authorities, for no matter purpose, gained’t take steps to clear out the undesirables. But one of the causes it’s so costly to dwell in San Francisco is the dire housing scarcity, an issue that might simply be remedied if the authorities cleared the manner for the development of extra housing by altering the inflexible zoning legal guidelines that stop the development of high-rise flats, leaving a rising inhabitants to play “musical chairs” with a static variety of dwellings.

​Instead, the metropolis authorities “fights homelessness” by preventing the homeless – destroying semi-permanent giant tent encampments and lining the sidewalks with steel limitations as a substitute of boulders to be certain they don’t rebuild – though its shelters have solely area for a couple of tenth of San Francisco’s homeless inhabitants. The metropolis passed a legislation in 2016 permitting for the “speedy dismantling” of tent camps. And as the homelessness drawback has grown (with each one individual housed, three extra find yourself on the road, according to the SF Chronicle), so have the borderline-sadistic approaches to quashing it.​

Since the 1990s, San Francisco has removed practically all benches and public seating, hoping to deter the homeless from sleeping on them. Hydrophobic “pee-proof paint” has been utilized round the metropolis to fight the drawback of public urination – apparently cheaper than public bogs, it is an ideal instance of fixing the incorrect drawback, as the metropolis continues to marinate in feces. A “sit-lie” ordinance handed in 2010 made it unlawful to a lot as sit on the road; sporadic enforcement centered on vacationer areas merely pushed the homeless into residential neighborhoods, and a 2018 courtroom ruling declared it unconstitutional to criminalize homelessness if no shelters had been obtainable. San Francisco’s “Homeward Bound” program ships the homeless out of the metropolis to dwell with household and pals – most likely the least disturbing of all the “options,” however nonetheless a band-aid on a gaping bullet wound.​

Shocking movies of drug addicts taking pictures up in San Francisco metro stations have gone viral. The metropolis’s “poop drawback” is the butt of jokes worldwide. Yet authorities shrug their shoulders when somebody suggests putting in public bogs or increasing the “tiny properties” venture that has seen the homeless efficiently housed in small shed settlements in neighboring Oakland. Instead, they focus their energies on clearing away homeless encampments so their transient residents lack any sense of permanence (and the motivation to care for his or her makeshift properties). ​

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