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Trove of text messages reveals Mayor London Breed ordered homeless sweeps directly — despite frequent denials

Trove of text messages reveals Mayor London Breed ordered homeless sweeps directly — despite frequent denials

As a mantra, Mayor London Breed has told the people of San Francisco that “we don’t do sweeps” — organized roustings of homeless people and their tent encampments, even if those individuals have no place to go. 

But text message exchanges between Breed, police Chief Bill Scott, and other staff — published after an anonymous public records request — show that the mayor frequently asks her staff, including the police chief, to “clear,” “clean,” and “fix” specific areas around the city — areas where, at times, she was merely going on about her day. 

“Man sleeping on bench on Hayes st near gough. Can someone come ASAP. I’m in the area having lunch,” reads a message from Breed to Scott and Sean Elsbernd, her chief of staff, and others on August 22, 2019. 

“Copy. We are sending a team,” Scott replied. 

“Police are there but we need to clear it out and clean it up. 800 block of market in front of Walgreens” Breed wrote to Scott, Elsbernd and others the next day.

“800 block of Market in front of Walgreens cleared,” Scott replied hours later. 

“Thank you. Let’s keep that block safe and clean. It is our bread and butter,” Breed replied. 

Using the San Francisco Police Department’s public records portal on February 16, an anonymous individual requested text messages between Breed and Scott. It was posted to the publicly viewable site on May 25 and bandied about on social media

So-called “sweeps” of homeless people and encampments have been a flashpoint between the mayor’s office and homeless advocates, who have criticized this mayor (and her predecessors) for moving the homeless from place to place without having sufficient shelter space for them. 

Kelley Cutler, a human rights organizer with the Coalition on Homelessness, was not surprised by the texts. “It basically spelled out what we’re seeing anyway,” she said, noting what she described as the city’s complaint- and enforcement-based response to “visible homelessness.” 

Visible homelessness isn’t the issue,” she said. “The issue is the lack of resources. This was another example of what that actually looks like.” 

While Breed has consistently denied that the city performs sweeps of homeless encampments, the text messages, many dated in July and August of 2019, show that Breed is directly ordering them. Moreover, the messages reveal that Breed engages in a pattern of not merely ordering large encampments cleared, but mobilizes the police force to address the individuals she sees, as in the Aug. 22, 2019 exchange and those below. 

“Homeless man laying in grey blanket near bus stop at mcallister and Hyde,” Breed wrote to Scott, Elsbernd and others on July 30, 2019. 

“The next day she wrote: “There is a guy on the ground on market near theater and farmer’s market.”

“We don’t do sweeps,” Breed told the New Yorker in a story that published yesterday, the same day the trove of her text messages became known. “I don’t think law enforcement is the right approach,” Healthy Streets Operation Center (HSOC) head Jeff Kositsky said in the same article. “And I can tell you the chief of police agrees with me.” 

He did, in that article: “It’s not a crime to be homeless,” Scott told the New Yorker. 

Andy Lynch, a spokesman for the mayor, said that Breed is constantly in contact with department heads “responsible for the state of our street” at the operations center. “When she is out in the community, she makes sure to highlight areas that need attention so that HSOC is aware of the issue and can respond,” Lynch said.

“HSOC does not ‘sweep’ people away,” Lynch added. “They lead with offers of shelter and services, and can only ask someone to move for temporary street cleanings, or if there is a shelter bed available for the person and they refuse to take it or accept services.”

He said the mayor has made it a priority to open shelter beds for people experiencing homelessness.

Kositsky, whose office coordinates responses between the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, San Francisco Public Works, and the police department, told Mission Local that  Breed’s texts can easily be misread as insensitive, when in fact they are not. 

She comes at all of this work based on a deep sense of compassion,” he said, noting that the mayor’s direct style can often be read as harsh. 

“She never ever asked me to do something that wasn’t rooted in wanting to see a person get assistance,” Kositsky said.

He said he’d often receive text messages from Breed, when he was director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, and he was included in many of the texts to Scott caught up in the public records request. “I wouldn’t work for someone who was asking me to do something that was unethical,” he continued. “I was never asked to do something that I was uncomfortable with.” 

Kositsky remembers the Aug. 22, 2019, incident when Breed asked department heads to engage with the person sleeping on a bench on Hayes near where she was having lunch. Kositsky and the Homeless Outreach Team, not just the police, went out to the man and tried to help him, he said. “He was an old person who did not want assistance,” Kositsky said. “He was quite abusive to the HOT team member. We did our best.”  

“We tried to be really responsive to these calls,” he added, noting that it’s always the intention of the city to offer shelter to the homeless and that “the majority of the times it did,” except when advocates have informed him of situations where shelter was not offered. 

Aside from the mayor directly ordering the clearing of the homeless, some text messages note that Breed often uses a gym at SFPD headquarters on Third Street. On March 24 of this year, Scott informed Breed that an SFPD staff member tested positive for COVID-19. 

“Dang, does he use my gym?” was Breed’s only reply.

The mayor’s office did not directly respond to Mission Local’s questions around this comment. “From the beginning of this pandemic, the Mayor has been focused on ensuring the health and safety of essential” city employees, Lynch said. “She received daily updates from these department heads about steps being taken to ensure they had proper protective gear and were instituting precautionary safety measures.”

The messages also expose a less-than-cordial relationship between Breed and Scott, as Breed’s directives are often demanding or dismissive. 

“6th and market and 7th and market are embarrassing,” she wrote to Scott and Elsbernd on March 4 of this year at 6:05 a.m.

Scott said he was making “tweaks” to his coverage — and that coverage is heavier during busy hours but “lighter” late at night. 

“I’m tired of excuses and repeating myself,” the mayor wrote back. “Fix it. It’s the same corners.” 

Two sets of text messages are below. 

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121 Comments

  1. JesusChrist

    Nice hit job

    Reply
    • Joe Eskenazi

      He J-man. Guess it’s okay for YOU to cast the first stone.

      The text messages say what they say. I’m sorry you have an issue with that.

      Yours,

      JE

      Reply
      • Xevoid

        It’s unfortunate that Breed feels she needs to hide behind telling people she doesn’t do sweeps. She should really be straightforward about it. We have needed, and still need, more sweeps. The homeless situation in many parts of the city is ridiculous, even during a pandemic.

        Reply
        • GeekGirl

          The simple fact is, people are realizing that the pandering to bigots of Jordan, Brown, Newsom, Lee, Farrell, and Breed has done nothing to alleviate homelessness, and in fact, has included policies of keeping the homeless available to be abused.

          Reply
          • Xevoid

            The only thing that keeps the homeless “available” to being abused are the homeless enablers like you, GeekGirl. I’ve seen your posts for years on these sites. Stop enabling homelessness.

            Tell the homeless to leave down. Telling them that they will have a chance to get back on their feet in the most expensive city in the US (and the world, depending on the data) if only we will provide more housing is a fool’s errand.

          • **

            “done nothing” ?!

            The City regularly houses about 1500 homeless ppl/yr. That in every PIT count for 15 yrs, reports that homeless ppl, who were homeless somewhere else first, come to SF to … to be among 30% of our count. 30% of 8000 = 3000 indicates only that we are falling behind. But that is far different than your “simple fact” you claim of ‘doing nothing’.

          • SCOTT D

            If only the rest of us had this power. One of the reasons I voted for London Breed was the hope that, as a native San Franciscan like me, she’d get rid of the homeless who have ruined entire parts of town. Get tough on the homeless and petty crime like auto break-ins will plummet.

          • Realname

            I live in Hayes Valley and I’ve seen multiple break ins and seen duos out on bikes peering in windows with flashlights. They’re undeterred by bystanders and when you say something they take off. It’s never been a homeless person.

        • Sam

          This makes me love London.

          Reply
          • Kaylah

            Me to. I’m on the 800 block and it’s just drug dealers and addict 24/7. And more come into the city daily. Drug dealers get dropped off. And the street people line up. This is not homelessness this is something else and a house and money is not the answer. I’m glad she’s in the city seeing what I see outside my window all day and all night. This is dangerous.

    • GeekGirl

      The truth hurts…especially when one is caught being a liar.

      Reply
    • NannyState

      There’s nothing wrong with the Mayor doing what the rest of us are doing. And, it isn’t a matter of too few resources, you might see two squad cars, a fire truck, and an ambulance responding to one homeless individual. That isn’t too few resources, that’s massive overkill. There’s also too much “codependency” in homeless “advocacy.” If your relative were living in the street and involved with drugs it is highly unlikely that you would teach them how to inject drugs instead of smoking them and then make sure that they had a supply of needles and anti-overdose medication. You wouldn’t follow behind them picking up their used needles, picking up their piles of discarded rubbish, and hosing down the street. If you cannot fine them, if you cannot hold them in jail, if they do pretty well whatever they damn please, then they should actually spend time drying out in, or detoxing in jail. Let them experience that often.

      Reply
      • LaVista

        right on!

        Reply
    • Kellog64

      Hit and miss jesus these journalist just like breed herself barely chew on the corners.

      Reply
    • Charlie in sf

      It’s backfiring. London’s approval rating has gone way up.

      Reply
  2. Andre

    Her responsibility is to keep the community safe. Having piles of filth goes against this. 99% of what homeless hoard is unnecessary. The city has a right to clean it up. How is her telling the Police areas need to be cleaned evidence that their were sweeps? The police support DPH when cleaning up needles, etc. Additionally, having the police sent for downed homeless is also responsible. Your reporting is trash.

    Props to the Mayor for calling out the police on shutting down the low riders cruising

    Reply
    • Scott mcdowell

      There is some truth to this, but then we need a solution for where these people should go and a policy for how we treat them. Instead of dealing with the tough part of the problem, the Mayor just denies they do sweeps and then continues to do them the wrong way.

      Reply
      • GeekGirl

        First off, thanks for letting me know that my posts bother you. No, I am not enabling a damned thing. I am simply exposing the bigotry and hated that Breed panders to. The homeless have the same rights you do. I cannot legally insist that yo be told to leave San Francisco. I mean, I have no doubt you would be far more at home in a country that does not respect human rights. But, you need to realize that we do. You are certainly entitled to say lots of things. That does not make them true, or acceptable, or legal to implements as policy. In fact, your are even entitled to lie through your teeth, as you are doing.

        I grew up in the South, during the Civil RIghts Movement. Except for the use of the word “homeless” in place of various terms describing race, and the use of “enabler” in place of “lover,” your rhetoric is the same as speed by the Klan, Eugene “Bull” Connor, Lester Maddox, and countless others. And that makes me very sad.

        Reply
        • GeekGirl

          Sorry, I did not mean for the other reply to be to you. The homeless have been used as a political football repeatedly. They allow the mayors to distract from short comings by abusing them for the delight of their base.

          Potholes? But the homeless!
          Muni? But the homeless!
          High rents? But the homeless!

          Reply
          • Xevoid

            The homeless abuse the city.

            Shitting on people’s doorsteps, leaving tons (literally tons) of garbage around the city is abusing the rest of us.

            You only care about the homeless though.

          • Burt ward

            Nobody owes the homeless that have ruined the city any more breaks . I’m not obligated to walk over piles of drug needles. To “ prove” My kindness or empathy . . I contribute to SF . I don’t take and break and wreak havoc . I don’t sell drugs or sit in my own piss waiting for a handout . So yes %100 good for the mayor for saying what most people actually think .

        • MARCO

          GeekGirl, its good that we remember your point of compassion, but how often do people take advantage of the compassionate in life? Many of the homeless have families that tried and gave up, and usually for good reasons. To be a compassionate and caring person like i strive to be, and not be taken a sucker, means i need to draw certain lines.

          What i agree with, and appreciate, is your reminder that this is a free country. I do have the right to waste my life, party all night with my friends on drugs and cheap booze, and pass out wherever i please as long as its public property. I value that right, and believe its wrong to push someone out of ‘my’ street just because they smell or look unseemly. But, i dont agree that i should go to some extended-stretch to try and save them or help them. they wouldnt help me when i slept in my car, getting on my feet in this expensive market. there was no offer of free food or warmth, nor services. and why? because i didnt have a dependency-problem? i did drugs and partied, but i stopped short of ruining my life so that i could one day afford to be here and contribute to this place. Many come here because they think of us as gullible rich-kids, easily made to feel guilty, and far easier to take advantage of compared to their place of origin.

          We offer (and im proud to pay taxes for) the most highly-funded services in the country and probably, the world. ive lived in the progressive Netherlands and they did far less, while offering absolutely-nothing for those who travel to their cities from other places and dont come with proper paperwork. (Canada, for example, will deport you so fast, it will make your head spin!) The Dutch dont want to be treated as suckers just because they have compassion, and thats always important for any of us with a heart.

          I appreciate you taking the time to be here and argue your perspective and the other side of this argument with us and you remind us to not be callous, but where do you draw your line? How far would you let me take advantage of you? how long could i sleep on your couch, showing no effort to get on my feet or even contribute to cleaning the place? a week, a month? im sure there would be a point when you say enough is enough and the compassion ran dry, right?

          Reply
    • D

      I think the mayor would better figure out a way to make resources available to help these people and let others do their assigned jobs. Now if you tell me Breed’s best way to spend her and her police chief’s time is on this stuff as opposed to strategic thinking, I’m all for it: let her roam the streets and put in 311 requests. She’s pretty useless as is and I’m glad it’s being exposed.

      Reply
      • GeekGirl

        Well put.

        Reply
      • Jake T

        To get anything done, you need political cover around here. If a department head’s texts of this kind were leaked, the do nothing board of supervisors would legislate them out of a job. The mayor is the only person who can ignore the board, so she has to explicitly signal support. It’s sad, I know, but not for the reasons you think.

        Reply
        • T.

          Hmm, you have a point here.

          Reply
      • T.

        AMEN. Thank you for concisely stating the main problem specific to the dynamic revealed in this texting.

        Reply
    • GeekGirl

      Seriously? You claim the right to dictate what property people need, or have a right to possess?

      Reply
    • h. brown

      Andre,

      Did not understand.

      Is the Mayor for or against low riders?

      h.

      Reply
  3. Xevoid

    Every time one of these articles comes out, I can’t help but notice that the vast majority of homeless advocates make no mention of the terrible price that non-homeless people in San Francisco pay because of the behavior of meth addicts and people camped out on the streets.

    It’s always about how sad and “vulnerable” are, and never about the price that families and businesses who have to deal with meth-addled psychotic individuals screaming outside. I save my empathy for those folks. So, we need more sweeps, not less.

    We have two problems here. One is the huge homeless population, and two… the homeless enablers who make it difficult to do anything to lessen the impact the behavior of the homeless have on people around them.

    A perfect example is the author of this article who made no effort to interview any individuals who liver in these neighborhoods to see how they felt about the sweeps or if they were something people wanted to happen. Why is that? Was the author afraid of what the response would be? Did the author think that the feelings of actual residents in these areas is irrelevant?

    Why use the words “so-called ‘sweeps'” in the article in quotes? Is the author afraid that by actually using the word “sweeps” that would validate them?

    Why only interview homeless advocates? There’s plenty of people in this city who are supportive of sweeps, even if it means moving people temporarily, so they can get on their lives and not have to deal with the open-air drug dealing that goes on in many of the homeless camps right now.

    And there’s nothing wrong with standing up and saying that, even if it offends homeless advocates.

    Reply
    • Lauree carlsen

      AMEN AMEN AMEN. Same issues here in Portland. Sanctuary cities do not get federal funding to help and why should they? If you want the sanctuary city, which I believe is illegal, you tax everyone there locally to pay for it, even if you do not want it. There is an empty new jail up here . We are trying to get the homeless here to help them with services, showers, addiction, Counseling, job help….. I heard there is one there. Yes, the flip side is, homeless need help out of our neighborhoods, businesses, parks, for our safety, health, and theirs. It hurts tax payers trying to make a living, unsafe for children, lowers neighborhood value yet higher taxes……if you have a good job, and live out of these neighborhoods and businesses, then it does not effect you. But it negitively effects the rest of us that live in it and pay high taxes too.

      Reply
      • Charlie in sf

        This is not about San Francisco being a sanctuary city. If you lived here, you would notice one thing right away: Most of these street people are Caucasian Americans, many are also violent homophobes.

        Reply
      • t

        how about working to prevent homelessness in the first place? That would help everyone. And it is the only meaningful long term solution.

        Reply
    • Aw

      Very well put!

      Reply
    • GeekGirl

      First off, thanks for letting me know that my posts bother you. No, I am not enabling a damned thing. I am simply exposing the bigotry and hated that Breed panders to. The homeless have the same rights you do. I cannot legally insist that yo be told to leave San Francisco. I mean, I have no doubt you would be far more at home in a country that does not respect human rights. But, you need to realize that we do. You are certainly entitled to say lots of things. That does not make them true, or acceptable, or legal to implements as policy. In fact, your are even entitled to lie through your teeth, as you are doing.

      I grew up in the South, during the Civil RIghts Movement. Except for the use of the word “homeless” in place of various terms describing race, and the use of “enabler” in place of “lover,” your rhetoric is the same as speed by the Klan, Eugene “Bull” Connor, Lester Maddox, and countless others. And that makes me very sad.

      Reply
      • Xevoid

        You are enabling homelessness by continuing to defend the actions of the city, no mattter how damaging they are to non-homeless people. Anytime anyone steps up on these message boards and points out that what we have been doing for 25 years or more has not been working and has been making matters worse, you, and other homeless enablers like you continue to make life unlivable for people with families and businesses in this city.

        You are wrong. Your methods and ideals to solve this crisis have failed. I’ve been here 2 years The proof is in the pudding: Homeless advocates have had immense power in city hall for decades and HERE WE ARE.

        The issue is not more money. It is not more housing. It is POLICY, and you and your ilk continue to stand in the way of everyone who wants to live free of the scourge of meth addicts and people shitting on streets in front of their houses. You don’t care about those people. I’ve seen your posts. You only care about the homeless. I’ve never seen you say anything about what people go through when they have to come face to face with a crazy-ass homeless meth addict threatening their children. Never.

        I do not lie, GeekGirl. I speak the truth . You’ve accused people on this board of being involved with “astroturf”for the mayor even in this thread…even though you have fuck-all evidence that that is true. So it’s you who are lying.

        I also grew up in the south, in Georgia, Arkansas, and South Carolina. So don’t speak to me about the south and how this has anything to do with racism or bigotry.

        Not wanting to live next to people doing heroin is not bigotry.

        Not wanting to listen to crazy people yelling at the top of their lungs because they CHOSE to do meth is not bigotry.

        Not wanting to come face to face with people taking a shit in a Safeway aisle is NOT bigotry.

        Talking about this is NOT assaulting homelessness. It’s assaulting homeless BEHAVIOR. Stop conflating the two, and stop enabling homelessness.

        Reply
        • XevoiD

          That should say, I’ve been here 25 years, not 2. Although people who have been here 2 years would have just as much of a valid viewpoint of the failure of homeless enablers as someone who has lived here much longer.

          Reply
      • Burt waRd

        Instead of completely sidestepping what multiple people have said to you in here , why not try using your “ wit “ to answer any of them ? Because you just want to say the sane thing over and over .. we get it , you like homeless people better then people that pay for the city to exist . Our question is why ? I’m sure we will here your victim
        Card very soon …

        Reply
    • Wylie

      I live in a neighborhood with a significant homeless population and I personally think the victims of homelessness are actually homeless people, even when one of them occasionally poops on my doorstep. The mindset expressed in this post is demented.

      What you and your ilk really seem to want is for the city to deal with homelessness the way virtually every other city in America does – by jailing most homeless people for petty crimes and corralling the rest into designated slums so they’re out of sight and out of mind. Maybe you should move to one of those cities instead of trying to ruin one of the few places in the country that shows a modicum of compassion towards society’s most downtrodden.

      Reply
      • Doris

        Sorry, there’s nothing compassionate about letting someone who is drug addicted or has untreated mental illness roam around Tenderloin in their own filth. In San Francisco, we refuse to take the hard, tough-love steps needed to actually show these people compassion and hold them accountable for seeking help and getting a grip on their own lives. This is the easy way out, instead of our politicians showing leadership and making the tough choices necessary to maintain the broader public’s quality of life and help these people confront their problems, we take the easy way out with expensive token programs and platitudes which help no one.

        Reply
        • Jayson

          I dont know if you’ve taken a look outside lately, but I have–and I see more suffering than compassion. Just the other day on Mission and Van Ness a homeless guy showed me his leg which was literally all raw, red, and infected. He was suffering profusely. I asked him what he needed and he said “money to get high and numb the pain.”

          There is nothing…absolutely nothing…compassionate about the state of the homeless in this city. The amount of fifth that they lay in and sleep in is deplorable.

          There is nothing…absolutely nothing, compassionate about the conditions that tax paying citizens have to endure in the most expensive city in America–all because the City continues to throw money at symptoms and not the illness.

          The City needs to take drastic steps on homelessness. Take somewhere like Angel Island and build centers to clean them up, rehabilitate and house them. Build several buildings containing SROs for them to stay in…doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Work with companies in the city to create relationships where homeless persons that complete the program can be direct hired.

          Once the facilities are in place, SF needs to make it illegal to trash, sleep, shit, piss, or pitch tents on our streets. With the City providing ALL the needed resources to get a persons life back on track, there is no excuse and the degradation of our City should no longer be tolerated.

          The City also needs to Deny services to ALL homesless that were not SF residents at the time that they became homeless. It is not our cities job to pay for other states/ cities homeless residents. We need to stop giving incentives for people to come here. We, as a country, all have to pull out weight.

          Reply
    • RM

      I think there is an area you are not even seeing. If there was a simple solution to the homeless problem, it would have already been laid out. This is a huge problem for sure. I see you have offered no solution.

      Reply
    • LaVista

      The fact that these “homeless” were able to travel and end up in SF or LA or Seattle or wherever means they can find the means to get off their asses and go where it’s less expensive. Advocates are all about
      feelings “rights” while the same they are supposedly trying to help are killing themselves. These myopic squalor supporters have never have a logical leg to stand on . None.

      Reply
  4. Rick Reynolds

    I’m perfectly fine with this and it just increases my support for her.

    Reply
  5. ROB

    Great Job Mayor!

    Reply
  6. Letsdothis

    So, instead of turning a blind eye… the mayor is just going about making sure the city is being managed to keep the streets clean? Where do I sign up for her re-election campaign!

    Reply
  7. Victor

    Great. Has needed to happen for a long, long time.

    Reply
  8. seth

    i’ve always thought a “sweep” was defined as an organized removal (“clear and clean”) of a group of individuals who have formed an encampment. in this case the mayor sent texts to her staff regarding concerns about individuals or the conditions of specific geographic locations in the city. I don’t see this as a “sweep” at all, and accusing the mayor of hypocrisy as a result of these texts seems a bit far-fetched. i think she can desire and work towards longer-term solutions to the crisis while also leveraging the resources at her disposal to deal with immediate concerns, without being painted as a hypocrite. But again – i guess this comes down to how we define a “sweep.”

    Reply
    • h. brown

      Seth,

      Gotta agree with you.

      She’s a normal concerned citizen except with clout.

      Did not like the way she talked down to Chief Scott at all.

      She can only do that because his is not an elected post.

      Must be 80 degrees out there.

      Go Giants!

      h.

      Reply
  9. John Lewis

    Not a fan, but I don’t see much here that involves a sweep. Taking action when people are passed out somewhere is not exactly a bad thing.

    Reply
  10. Sebra Leaves

    The lack of trust in our government is evident on all fronts and is justified given the large number of corruption charges being brought against high level leaders. Question is not if they will lie to us. Question is how do we avoid voting for dishonest politicians? Here we see the two faces and voices of our mayor.

    Reply
  11. Steve

    When she was mayor, Feinstein would call the cops about homeless or drug dealers, call DPW about trash or potholes, or other City departments for issues under their jurisdiction. And woe to those department heads who didn’t get the issue taken care of, because if the issue remained the next time she was in the same location, new orifices were ripped.

    Breed would get much more in the way of approvals if the fessed up to her calls for sweeps.

    Joe, good digging on this story.

    Reply
    • Joe Eskenazi

      Thanks!

      A. This was all unearthed via a public records request made by an anonymous individual;

      B. I did not write this story. Julian Mark wrote this story.

      Yours,

      JE

      Reply
    • LL

      The fact that we’re still dealing with this same issue 30+ years after Feinstein’s is shameful. All the so called smart people in this City should be coming up with a solution to homeless problem that’s vexed mayors for decades.

      Reply
  12. aapi

    Oh boy, if you think this is bad you should get the complete record of my own 311 calls!

    Reply
    • John

      The city seems to have stopped responding to any 311 requests, at least the ones I make.

      Reply
      • h. brown

        311 has rocked for me,

        Once you get that follow-up number and give it to
        the staff of your area supe, you’ll get movement.

        We had obliterated crossing grids at 14th & Valencia.

        Couple schools in the block.

        Even as an old squeaky wheel I was impressed.

        The original operator said if I heard nothing in 21 days to call back.

        With a few nasty calls to the 2 supes whose districts merge
        there?

        18 days and we had all new crosswalks!

        Valencia is where it’s happening.

        h.

        Reply
    • jeffrey

      You are not the mayor – so your calls don’t really count or will be responded to…whenever.

      Reply
  13. pat

    Glad someone’s doing something about it. Look through 311 reports and you’ll see that hundreds of citizens are trying to do the same thing, but unfortunately are not as successful. I would say the mayor is 110% correct when she says Market Street is a mess.

    Reply
  14. Chardin

    So the police only respond to calls from the mayor through the Chief of Police to this problem? Have citizens just given up calling the cops?

    Reply
  15. Chris

    Hooray! Keep cleaning Mayor Breed!! Please don’t stop!

    Reply
    • Michelle

      Love it!

      Reply
  16. JEFFREY

    She comes off as an arrogant, elitist person who is concerned more about herself and her image than the city. So because she is eating somewhere the whole city staff is supposed to come and take care of her whim at that moment. Lying in a criminal justice case is perjury but I guess she feels she can do it freely with the public at large. Typical of a politician but sad.

    Reply
  17. matty

    At what point is it the responsibility of the homeless people themselves to find other accommodations?

    Reply
  18. Tom

    As someone who lives near 7th and Market, I just want to agree with many of the above comments that this article is the best thing that I have heard about London Breed in a long time. Those corners ARE out of control. Thank you, Mayor!

    Reply
  19. Renzomatic

    The fact that there were even sweeps to begin with is more surprising. It should be regular and consistent moving and cleaning. That seems to be the only decent trade off to allowing it to continue. If we cannot get them off of the streets, then it makes sense that we have to periodically clean and scrupb otherwise it will get worse for those living in it and those having to live around it if we don’t clean.

    Reply
  20. Booradley

    Yes – keep on cleaning Mayor Breed!

    Reply
  21. Patrick

    Good! I wish she’d come out swinging and scream this from the rooftops. Enough is enough. Our city has become disgusting and unhealthy. It doesn’t have to and shouldn’t be this way. Somethings got to give.

    Reply
  22. TITO

    Once her go-to “Mr. Clean – clean up on aisle SF” guy got pinched she was left with just the police to do her bidding.

    I guess all the texts between London Breed and Mohammed Nuru will become public via the upcoming Federal trial, perhaps.

    Reply
  23. MS

    Anyone know about the times? Some infer the texts were sent in the middle of the night but there is reference to daylight. Are the police just inconsistent in using the 24-hour clock?

    Reply
  24. Jacob

    Thank you Mayor Breed. More cleanups and sweeps please. We are tired of homeless people defecating, urinating, and doing drugs on highly visited parts of the City, such as Market Street.

    Reply
  25. Jenn

    I have no problem with her doing sweeps, although i know when she is saying to get police out there it doesnt necessarily institute a “sweep”. The police dont go out there to arrest but to see if they can get the people to a navigation center or see if any of them need mental help. Just because she is asking for police, doesnt mean they are going out there to try and toss the people out. Sometimes there are other issues and this is a tourist town. who wants to shop or visit if you have to maneuver through feces and stench and have to deal with fervent panhandling. I don’t. I don’t spend money going somewhere only to have it go to meth or alcohol. If someone asks me for food, i see no problem buying them something myself which i have done in the past. Didnt get a thank you, but its whatever.
    Keep fighting the good fight, London! the vast majority of the citizens are behind you!

    Reply
  26. phays

    This strikes me as some next level micro-managing and a huge waste of high level attention. Calling the Chief of Police on a guy sleeping on a bench, who then passes this request down the line through how many people until some beat cop has to move him along? It’s shocking how quickly mayors get used to snapping their fingers and expecting everyone to jump. No surprise that Nuru had crews out hosing down sidewalks before a mayoral appearance, maintaining the bubble around her.

    Reply
    • y

      agree. sounds like a punchlist approach

      Reply
  27. Michelle

    In the past I thought the worst of mayor Breed, but after reading this I am 100 percent backing her! Lets face it, these bums are making our streets dirty and (worse) dangerous.

    Reply
    • y

      uh, about face…?

      Reply
  28. Jake T

    Can we get a definition of “sweep” from the advocates? Seems like the mayor’s office says this is deployment of HOT and/or police to offer shelter or ask people to move for temporary street cleaning. Both seem alright to me.

    Reply
  29. GeekGirl

    Wow! Judging from the flood of fawning praise that occurred in rapid succession, it is obvious that Breed has a well oiled AstroTurf operation in place.

    Reply
    • **

      That could very well be true. I don’t recall seeing such a large (56 comments?) response on ML or any other site so quickly. And not of the ‘ditto’ quality these have, which is not common for SF comments sites either.

      I have to say though that I agree with them, mostly. SF has allowed a culture to develop among the homeless that seems to actively encourage aberrant behavior and do-whatever attitudes. At the same time, any criticism of such is treated with a snooty and PC distain.

      “Where will they go?” – a question posed, as if they are children. Really?? Well, it might not be as balmy, welcoming (services), or exciting (open-air drug markets) as SF (or, name your metro area) – and you may have to confront to social norms you find uncomfortable for just awkward, but there’s housing and its way cheaper that SF.

      However, homelessness itself is not a local phenomenon. Its national (and international) in scope. That said, there’s not good reason to encourage it here.

      Reply
      • GeekGirl

        It is not encouraged here. It cannot be dealt with in the manner some want, ranging in general from abuse to extermination, and yes I have seen that endorsed. They cannot be forced to go anywhere. They can be provide shelter, and if that is done, not allowed to camp. But they cannot otherwise be punished for existing, surviving, or being poor.

        Reply
        • Jake T

          This line of reasoning always fails when one wonders why literally every other jurisdiction in the country seems to have much more success punishing people for exactly that.

          Reply
        • **

          and yet we make it so damn easy (relatively speaking) for them to come here, be here, and grow their crime, disease sdand psychosis. Most of them. Not all, or course; there are a few unfortunate souls who are simply down on their luck. But their presence brings a army of predators and support cadre from elsewhere that feeds on them, degrading the City even more.

          Its not a crime to be poor or survive. But it is a crime (legal and moral) to behave the way so many of the unhoused (and housed, who see no ill effects for that behavior, so mimic it) behave; and its the behavior that Breed and so many other citizens have grown to detest.

          This city din’t look like this when I got here; maybe it did for you. Defend nastiness all you like. Do you really like living in a sewer?

          Reply
        • Doris

          Not sure if anybody on here really has issue with the following:
          – Pitch your tent or sleeping pad outside of the right of way so that old and handicapped people can get by without an issue.
          – Use the public restrooms that are available
          – Eat at the food bank
          – Throw away your trash in the appropriate bins
          – Read books at the library or walk around to entertain yourself
          – Mind your own business and leave other people alone
          – No drugs or excessive public drunkenness (such that you lose control of yourself and threaten others)

          Everyone on some level has a right to the above as humans.

          However, we as a society get to decide if flagrant outdoor drug use, abusive behavior, shoplifting, harassment, public defecation, and dumping are ok.

          I don’t think they are and these behaviors impinge on my rights to also live in this city and go about my life. I think we should be able to establish rules around these areas and people can have the choice to either comply, leave, or be civilly penalized.

          Reply
    • JesuSchrist

      You really suck at reading the room…or your city don’t you? When did you last want by Hyde and golden gate? Do you *really* find it incredible that so many ppl might be hoping for a cleaner and safer city?

      I frankly didn’t give a shit abt London Breed. But ironic as it is, she won my vote with this story.

      Reply
    • Xevoid

      And here we are, GeekGirl. You just *can’t* believe that people in San Francisco have had it with the homeless situation. In your view, these people are misguided at best or bigoted at worst.

      I have a toddler. I was walking down the street two months ago with him in a stroller, before all this went down. I saw a guy passed out with a needle in his arm. Am I a bigot because I don’t want my child to live next to that or see that? Am I a horrible person because I don’t immediately pity him and instead have disgust for what this person is doing to themselves and (this is important) this CITY?

      There’s nothing wrong with feeling anger and dismay at the idiot young people who ruin this city by going to Delores Park and then leave tons of trash there. They ruin something good and meant o be enjoyed by all.

      There;s also nothing wrong with feeling anger and dismay at people who take craps on people’s doorsteps, who take meth or heroin and who end acting crazy and psychotic around other people. They ALSO ruin this city, GeekGirl, and your defense of them ADDS to its ruin.

      Stop enabling homelessness.

      Stop conflating homeless behavior with homelessness.

      Reply
    • ROSEBUD

      Must be a conspiracy theory. Far left people are almost as bad as far right people. They can’t seem to get things done they just love to play lip service to what “feels good”. The comments couldn’t possibly be that SF is becoming a less progressive utopia that you’ve imagined in your head. Perhaps people are so fed up with the 45 years of increasing taxes to support failed homeless policies which have only attracted more homeless people tp SF year after year. Perhaps we’re sick and tired of the acceptance of degenerate antisocial behavior that poverty pimps seem to gaslight us with- like it’s OUR issue that we’re not cool with people pooping in front of the places we live and shooting up on streets that children live/play on. Perhaps the comments are representative of a wave of people at their wits end with paying high prices to support people who literally don’t care about themselves and contribute nothing to the culture or beauty of the city. In fact, they blight SF with their disgusting behavior and repel visitors from around the world who actually come here to spend money and support our local economy.

      Reply
  30. Marc

    Sounds great, what is wrong about it? All those areas are definitely embarrassing, dirty, filthy and need to be cleaned up. Enough is enough. It’s getting worse everyday.

    Reply
    • h. brown

      Yeah,

      Remember when Gavin first became Mayor?

      He had a thing where he used to carry around broom/pan/bag
      and stop and pick up trash!

      No, really.

      Went to his first Homeless Connect fair at City Auditorium across
      from City Hall and Gavin got down on his hands and knees and
      washed the filthy feet of some homeless guy.

      Bet he don’t do that no more.

      Avalos in D-11

      Nguyen in D-7!

      Gascon for DA in LA!

      Go Niners!

      h.

      Reply
      • GeekGirl

        Gavin was all show, and no brain.

        Reply
        • Xevoid

          He was 100% correct, btw.

          Stop enabling homelessness.

          Reply
  31. Rosebud

    So, what’s the issue here? The there’s nothing with asking the police to do their jobs and clean up the filth and foul disgustingness these folks leave behind. The tougher any city leader is on vagrancy, the more I will support her/him. Over the past 45 years, addiction enablement and acceptance of antisocial behavior has been masked as compassionate response to vagrancy and has been a total failure. I’m regularly appalled and disgusted at the degenerate behavior that we enable and cultivate in our beautiful city. I’m even more appalled at the hundreds of millions of local tax dollars we shovel into the fire of “homeless services” within the SF city budget. Enough is enough. Shape up or ship out folks!

    Reply
    • GeekGirl

      Vagrancy is not a crime. Vagrancy laws are unconstitutional. If people are denied access to adequate shelter, it is illegal, and immoral, to punish them for surging.

      Reply
      • Ante

        Fully agreed, GeekGirl. The poster Rosebud misdirects things with his/her argument–the police are not cleaning up filth, they are forcibly moving a person with nowhere to go, whether it be from a public bench or a tent city. The lack of empathy is astounding. And then, as they always do, the people for these actions always link it back to meth/heroin/drug addiction. While that is undoubtedly true for some, for many it is not. I recently (6 months ago) saw a younger white woman in a tent under Hwy 101 and Cesar Chavez with 2 young kids living there. Were the kids meth addicts do you think?

        With the new Depression now upon us, guess what? Many of those former working people will become homeless, and folks like Rosebud will not give a damn, but like London Breed, will insist that these people be “cleaned up” and moved somewhere else by police because they are interfering with the pleasure of her gluttonous lunch. (Why not offer the person some of that food? Too kind? Probably . . .)

        Instead of Breed opposing passed ballot initiatives that the Salesforce CEO supported, to tax large businesses in the Bay Area 1% to support services for getting homeless off the streets–you know, the exact same program that cleaned up much of Los Angeles’s homeless problem (not entirely, but it did help a lot)–and then her tying those initiatives up in lawsuits to delay their taking effect–hmmmm . . . maybe Breed could support initiatives like that?!? Oh, but that would actual accomplish something in a permanent way, and piss off most of her donors (although the Salesforce CEO seems like a pretty decent and smart person). Can’t have that.

        Instead, most of the “Rah-Rah London Breed” folks here would rather Breed continue to do nothing useful except rough the homeless up and move them along. They will just return, you know. The appearance of doing something, instead of actually doing something to help.

        Reply
      • Rosebud

        Correct. Vagrancy is not illegal. But it literally is ILLEGAL to sit, lie, camp, or shoot up / smoke meth on the public sidewalks of San Francisco. THE PEOPLE of San Francisco supported the law several years ago. Sadly, folks like yourself seem to be totally cool with allowing our city to descend into lawlessness, filth, and blight by accepting was is NOT normal and SHOULD NOT be normalized.
        This city was not always a liberal bastion of insanity. It was known as “the city that can”. Now that we’ve enjoyed single party rule for 45 years we’re the city that can’t. The city that can’t build adequate housing at all levels, the city that can’t deal with homelessness, and the city that can’t have nice things. Congratulations on being right! You win exactly nothing, in fact, you lose.
        We all do.

        Reply
      • Doris

        To be clear, are you saying that I can show up to the very expensive city of Beverly Hills (in which I can’t and will likely never have the means to afford housing and live self sufficiently), pitch a tent, defecate on peoples’ front doors, get drunk in public, break into cars, and make a massive nuisance of myself. Once I’ve established myself in my new city, the other residents will have no choice but to either tolerate my behavior or provide me with a respectable, union-built place to live in their city?

        Sounds like a great deal, but also rather a bit like extortion..

        Reply
  32. Shelly Siddiqui

    Go Mayor! I don’t understand why the tone of this article is so negative. Come on! We are all sick of the mess all over the streets. It’s OK to send people out, presumably to offer services as well as have them move along, but nothing wrong with having them move along.

    Reply
    • GeekGirl

      Because she is exposed, again as hateful, pandering to hateful people, and lying.

      Reply
  33. Alex craig

    Thank you Mayor Breed – keep making those calls!

    Reply
  34. h. brown

    Seth,

    Gotta agree with you.

    She’s a normal concerned citizen except with clout.

    Did not like the way she talked down to Chief Scott at all.

    She can only do that because his is not an elected post.

    Must be 80 degrees out there.

    Go Giants!

    h.

    Reply
    • GG

      Do you want to be reelected?? Seriously….who will be your $$$$ BACKERS?? Count out D6. Good luck Marina , Pac Hts , SeaCliff.

      Reply
  35. Geekygirl

    Thank you London Breed for clearing our streets. Please do more!

    Reply
    • GeekGiRl

      Seriously? You are not clever, just a troll.

      Reply
  36. JC

    Just another mayor in a long line of mayors (Agnos, Jordan, Wille, Newsome, Lee, now Breed) who shout into the wind, knowing full well that nothing gets better year after year, only worse. There is only one solution to this never ending saga of disfunction. Stop paying for it with taxpayer money and somehow get the SF criminal justice system to operate at something like it’s supposed to. If the homeless industrial complex loses it’s money and it’s vast empire of non profits and advocates who enable it, it’s a start. Let the cops enforce the law by arresting the dealers, burglars, robberers, and assorted thieves, the D.A.does it’s job by prosecuting and the courts do theirs by judging , maybe, just maybe, the City can stop the slide……But who are we kidding here. I am a born and raised SF guy and I guess me like every other city voter either through commission or omission, have voted in the likes of Boudin, Harris, Gascon, Hallanan, and way too many BOS progressive hacks who are really the same hacks we keep electing over and over. Insanity, just total insanity. Ever notice that most of these visionary BOS Sups, after they are done wreaking havoc just disappear? Jane Kim? Chris Daly? Of course we can always count on the Avalos and Campos types to never just go away, they come back like political zombies to keep gnawing away at the rest of us. ………Sorry my frustration here with the city I was raised in, went to school in, bought a house in, had my kids born in, and worked in my whole friggin life in……. has got the best of me today..

    Reply
    • GeekGirl

      None of the mayors you named, with the exception of Agnos, (and you forgot Farrell) Has had any desire to actually deal with homelessness. It is their wedge issue to drive their base, who salivate at the red meat of every abusive act. But people are catching on. Breed barely won against against Real candidates (Less than 1%), she was humiliated by Prop C, only two she endorsed for the Board won, and one of those has turned on her, she is facing A possible corruption charge and has lost her henchman and matey well face a recall soon. And she is caught lying to hide her abuse of poor people.

      Reply
      • Booradley

        Please provide data / stats GeekGirl when blabbering on… might make a few of your delusions actually appear believable Or at least have some loose connection to reality. Oh, wait, why am I helping you…

        Reply
    • Captnobvious

      I agree with you, JC. This problem won’t be solved until dealers are arrested, jailed and face real sentences for their criminal behavior. Same with users, people who use the street as toilet, etc. I’m not impressed with Breed, she’s running around with a little fire squirt bottle and her method of “cleaning” the streets is lazy. (Putting lipstick on a pig? Arranging deck chairs on the Titanic? Polishing a turd?) None of this will stop until the Homeless Industrial Complex is defunded and dismantled, and we have a real DA that does his job. Not Marxist Boudin. SF is dead until there is a sea change at City Hall. When the country reopens, I suspect it will continue to lose convention business, tourists are going elsewhere, Hotpads has 1500 more units for rent than it did two months ago, etc. And I think it’s really sad that Breed’s first thought when she found out that guy tested positive for C-19 was it might impact her gym time. That was a little narcissistic.

      Reply
  37. GG

    LB….did you have taxpayer Lincoln Navigator pick up food today Mastros? We all know it’s Taco Tuesday!! How many people called 311 on the lack of social distancing in Tenderloin Memorial Day weekend?? Open drug dealing….syringes in hand….shooting up.. Are these your constituents who will host fundraisers for your reelection?? Same to you Matt Haney… what have you done for the homeowners of SF?? Shameful….

    Reply
  38. wally geORGE

    “I’m in the area having lunch”

    I’m going to laugh about that for hrs.

    Good article, if she wants certain parts of the city cleaned up it shouldn’t be in sporadic text form. 6th and Market has been a disaster forever sending the cops be here and there isn’t going fix it up

    Reply
  39. sfnative

    Thank you Mayor Breed! I voted for you twice because of your conviction to fight for local families, businesses, and the taxpayers that keep this beautiful city alive. Keep it up.

    Reply
  40. JoeMaN

    Total callous Breed

    Reply
  41. Zach

    Now that Nuru’s gone, I guess Breed has to do everything herself!

    Reply
  42. John hopkins

    Good for her!

    Reply
  43. Dave

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Mayor Breed is also responding to neighborhood complaints that many of these homeless people are littering and defecating around their neighborhood. It’s such an eyesore to see the homeless laying around near your front yard and begging. Many of them say they want to stay out in the streets and hove no desire to live with other “weirdos.” Some homeless advocates don’t know what a nuisance they could be until they set up tent on their front porch and then smoke their crack and drink their booze all day and then scream at each other at night.

    Reply
  44. Fed up mexican

    She needs to do this all over the city, proud of her for this. If you believe in their rights so much, house them in your house! See how quick you change your tune!

    Reply
  45. mumblypeg

    It just seems ridiculous that the mayor is sending out text msgs. to the SFPD, 7th and Market looks embarrassing — it does, it is. But the problem is systemic, and it seems like the mayor is not dealing with the forest for the trees. Yes, homeless people and druggies should be treated in a humane way — but this mess of random tents plopped down wherever some folks feel like squatting is really no good and must be fixed.

    So the mayor texting the cops to clean up here or there is pretty worthless, and this kid gloves HOT team pussy footing is also pretty worthless. I see sprawling squalor all over the Tenderloin and SOMA every day. It’s ridiculous that this mess is allowed to continue to fester.

    Step 1) Set up a small number of specific enclosed areas — e.g. parking lots under freeways, such as 4th & Stillman St. where people are allowed to pitch tents, and monitor those areas, and provide hygiene stations. Limit the period one is allowed to stay. Require people to participate in some level of responsible engagement with city agencies. Then service agencies, e.g. HOT teams won’t have to travel all over to offer services.

    Step 2) Ban tents from being placed willy-nilly on city sidewalks. Establish and enforce rules for tents.

    The city will save a massive amount of money because the SFPD, DPW and Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing will no longer be dealing with constant calls from angry residents and businesses, while awkwardly trying to coordinate the response between agencies.

    Reply
    • Jeffrey

      She is micromanaging which usually never turns out that good. She needs to look at the big picture and do big picture things to bring about solutions. Not sure she is up to it.

      Reply
  46. Sf resident

    The effects of SF’s reckless homeless population are felt by the city’s working class. Safety and cleanliness are necessary. Coddling people who genuinely need help and enabling symptoms of their larger issues is not the solution.

    Honestly this post makes me like Mayor Breed who I have been iffy about.

    So tired of people enabling open air heroin use, open air drug dealing, and the like. I was walking in Haight a few weeks ago and a homeless camp that was definitely not practicing any covid related practices shouted out at me asking if I wanted to buy drugs. It sounds fake, but trust me it’s real. Only in SF have I seen multiple people openly pull out their heroin kit with spoons, needs, wraps for their arms and everything. This isn’t okay and it should not be the acceptable standard. I also don’t think more money is necessary. Existing funds should be spent properly.

    Reply
    • rosebud

      I hear you. I have seen and experienced similar uncivilized behavior and worse walking through a number of different neighborhoods in SF. Enough is enough. Permanent NO votes on more bond money/taxes to support the SF homeless industrial complex. We shouldn’t be wasting valuable resources on people who don’t even care enough about themselves let alone the people of SF and the cleanliness of our city.

      Reply
  47. NatiVESF12q1

    We need more sweeps along with offering them bus tickets to Southern California. Stop giving them free stuff and enforce the laws for public defecation, urination and drug use and they will leave on their own. Giving them drugs, alcohol and hotel rooms just makes the problem worse.

    Reply
  48. Brian

    I grew up in San Francisco. It was a beautiful city, but now it smells like shit, and is repulsive with homeless people ubiquitous downtown and in the Tenderloin. The city needs to buy land outside the city, and relocate the homeless to tiny homes. If they refuse to stay in those tiny homes, put them in prison. Nobody wants to criminalize the homeless, but if they refuse to stay in tax payer funded Government housing, then that’s the only solution. Sure our taxes shouldn’t have to pay to house the homeless, but it is cheaper to house them than let than live on the street, shit, and scare away tourist and shoppers. The only solution is to move them outside the city to tiny homes and try to provide them mental health services and end their drug addiction. If they refuse to stay in these tiny homes, then send them to prison. Either way tax payers are on the hook for $40,000 a year, but at least the city would be free of their smell, and people could actually enjoy the city again. The solution is not hard. Housing first as well as treatment for mental health and drug addiction if needed, and then if they refuse to stay in the tiny home communities, and follow basic rules, send the to prison.

    Reply
  49. Lisa

    Red herring, nothing to see here. Cleaning up homeless who are illegally camping out (stealing, defecating, assaulting) on our City streets is not a “sweep.” This is SF cannot continue to be a Mad Max – Wasteland. There must be some civil laws and sanitation regulations in our City. Please stop pretending there is an issue with attempting to clean up our streets. The “homeless” have more freedoms than us tax paying business owners and residents. We have not revolted, yet but we are running out of patience. Thank you Mayor Breed for doing something, anything.

    Reply

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