Never before has the Mission appeared so green. Planter boxes of all kinds line sidewalks and come in all shapes and sizes: Wood, aluminum, and sometimes ceramic pots. They bloom with jade, ice plants, aloe and pansies.
One neighborhood association has put out at least 106 wine barrel planters on Mission District blocks since May.
These aren’t, however, simply for show. Instead, many residents, unhappy with the way the city is handling encampments, put out the planters to discourage unhoused residents from setting up camps or tents.
Homeless advocates refer to such planters as a form of “hostile architecture,” a design strategy that targets groups that rely on public space.
John Loshuertos, the captain of Shotwell Neighbors, called it “defensive architecture.” While he hasn’t put out any planters, he believes they can be “a good deterrent” of encampments.
Supervisor Hillary Ronen’s aide, Santiago Lerma, said the planters are becoming more common in the neighborhood, usually put out by “exasperated” and “rogue” housed residents without permits.
Lerma said he advises neighborhood organizations that their plants could be removed by the city at any time. And, though he called the move “aggressive” toward unhoused people, he said he understood where some residents were coming from.
“I think people are fed up, and the city is not providing an answer that they need, that is going to house people or prevent whatever’s going on in front of people’s houses,” Lerma said.
Lerma said that both Ronen’s office and the city need to work on providing a “continuum of care,” starting with safe sites for unhoused residents to sleep, addiction and mental health treatment, with the ultimate goal of getting people housed.
Francesca Pastine, who heads the Inner Mission Neighborhood Association that has put out several dozen planters this year, said that her organization wants to beautify the neighborhood, discourage dumping and ensure accessibility to places like grocery stores.
When an encampment near 24th Street and South Van Ness Avenue was cleared out by the city, Pastine said, “we then put the barrels there in hopes that it would discourage another one from moving in.”
But the Inner Mission neighbors have also put out planters in more innocuous areas where unhoused people have been known to pitch their tents, including alongside AT&T’s Telco Building at 25th and Capp streets, or near the tennis courts at 21st and Shotwell streets.
Pastine said the employees at the AT&T building hired a professional to add to the planters that her group put out — large metal tubs intended for watering livestock. That sidewalk is now lined with plants, and a tent can no longer fit there.
By city law, pedestrians must have at least a six-foot path to pass on a city block. Many of these blocks have sidewalks that are much wider than that, and planters can reduce the width of the sidewalk to six feet.
The city allocates permits for large planters, but doesn’t necessarily require a permit if an aboveground planter is less than 36 inches wide. Some of the planters seen in the Mission fall into that category, others do not.
Pastine said that she and her neighbors don’t get permission for their planting projects around the neighborhood. San Francisco Public Works did not respond to requests for comment from Mission Local.
Sometimes, Pastine said the planters just get shoved aside, but she added that they have had an “enormous success” in reducing trash on her own block.
From the annals of hostile/defensive architecture:
Preventing encampments seems to factor into the architecture of the Mission District’s newest buildings, too: Cement planters are built into the sidewalk outside the new building at 15th Street and South Van Ness Avenue, or into the outer bases of buildings like the one at 17th Street and South Van Ness Avenue, narrowing the sidewalk and leaving space only for passing pedestrians.
Not everyone considers planters the way to go. Richard Delacerda, a co-owner of Shaped AF on Valencia Street, said neighbors of his store got together to put out metal troughs with plants to drive away one particular unhoused man who would frequent that block.
Delacerda said his business had no part in that effort.
Jennifer Friedenbach, the executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness, was frustrated by this and other forms of “anti-homeless architecture” that she said have long been used to push out unhoused people. “Sometimes people are up against buildings because it creates some modicum of shelter against wind,” she said.
Occasionally, residents push back against their neighbors’ vigilante gardening. Planters are vandalized; a Mission District Craigslist ad in recent months advertised free barrels to anyone willing to come haul their neighbor’s new planters away.
Loshuertos, from the Shotwell group, said that, around the corner from his home, someone put planters along a parking lot at 15th Street and South Van Ness Avenue parking lot. “And there’s no more encampments,” Loshuertos said. He said he’s spoken with the manager at FoodsCo. — along the back of which tents are often crammed onto the sidewalk of Shotwell Street — about installing some there.
The Shotwell Neighbors cover Shotwell Street between 14th and 16th streets, and 15th Street between South Van Ness Avenue and Folsom Street. Loshuertos said that he and his neighbors call 311 to address encampments, but generally get little response.
Though camping on public sidewalks is also technically illegal in San Francisco, the city’s Healthy Streets Operation Center (HSOC) “resolves” only large encampments, and only does so when shelter access is available and can be offered to the residents of the encampment. Moreover, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a 2020 ruling that prohibits cities from punishing the homeless for sleeping on streets if they cannot offer another alternative.
Loshuertos recognized the futility of encampment sweeps without real long-term housing solutions, and called housing and homelessness a national emergency that should be funded as such. In the meantime, he sided with housed residents.
“This organization of people that are in favor of homeless rights, I agree with some of it, but what about our quality of life for the people that have to live around it?” Loshuertos said.
Friedenbach, with the Coalition on Homelessness, remained unsympathetic.
“I would love for that kind of energy to go into fighting for housing,” Friedenbach said.
I pay the city nearly $20K in property taxes and I cannot use the sidewalk outside my home. It’s not that I have to dodge tents, I cannot at all use the sidewalk. I have to walk in the street. Even then, I’ll be subjects to aggressive threats and verbal insults about “Being too good for them and avoiding them by being in the street.” Oh, and btw, there’s an elementary school a block away and children have to walk through these streets.
The location is Russ St. between Howard and Folsom. Come by for a visit to understand the situation, please.
How come the pitching of tents with all of the accompanying accouterments on the sidewalk is not considered HOSTILE ARCHITECTURE….???
The city will remove a planter, but not a tent that takes up the entire sidewalk. Great.
Eleni, the court decision protects only sleeping, possibly with a blanket and pillow. The decision is very specific; no mention of tents or other personal effects are included in the decision. Tents, in other words, are notb protected.
Planters alongside residences and businesses sounds like a great idea. A great deal of money is spent on homelessness, to little effective result. There needs to be a neutral, professional, objective evaluation and audit of how the money is spent and what it accomplishes. In terms of the Mission District, the City should spread social services around the City. If the homeless are so wonderful, let the entire City experience them, including the wealthy parts of town.
Just after the barrel planters were placed at Shotwell and 21st, someone entered my yard, walked past a gate and up stairs to dig up bulbs I’d recently planted. If narcissus and crocus grow out of those planters, I will not be surprised.
The concrete planters located on 15th and S. Van Ness (and cited in the article) are part of the storm water management for the adjacent building and were required by the SF PUC. Also, many people used to sleep on the opposite corner in front of the parking lot at 15th and S Van Ness (also cited in the article) fires were often lit and one destroyed a car in that lot. And one person was arrested for murder several months ago on the same block. Planters were since added to that area and the block has felt much safer and looks nicer since few people have camped there since.
Since the city, continues to pour money down an empty hole.
I’m tired of the trash, the piles of human waste, the human zombies, the needles, the filth, the screaming. It’s out of control.
I’m ok with more hostile architecture. 1000 V electric fence, some jagged, razor wire,
Hilary Ronen’s aide, Santiago Lerma, is either uninformed or flat-out lying to citizens saying their plantings could “be removed at any time.” They are absolutely allowed by SF law.
As long as you leave the minimum path of travel, freestanding above-ground sidewalk planters within a certain size don’t require a permit.
This link for permits is for sidewalk gardens, not planters:
Can we get a $1.7 million toilet at the BART plaza?
It’s sickening forcing residents to deal with this issue themselves. Programs that enable and even encourage junkies and their lifestyle need to be shut down. The other side of the coin is the lack of state/fed funding for facilities for people with mental issues living on the street like animals.
I’m not wealthy (in fact I may qualify as poverty level if you go by the median income thing) but I don’t really like it when people with clear mental issues / drug problems sleep under my window. Why? Well, I’m on the ground floor so when they yell and mutter to themselves under my window at 3am, it does disrupt my sleep. I’m not so into the trash people leave behind either. But more than anything, I live in fear that they will build a fire and burn our building down. That said, I have not been one to call the police but I suspect my neighbors do. I guess I should thank my neighbors.
The state of California should be ashamed of all the homelessness in there their cities
It is time to stop listening to Jennifer Friedenbach. Please!! Mission Local look her up! This woman makes around 300 thousand dollars per year!!! She has no ties to the working class. She has advocated for her housing first for 20 years to the point that her advocates actively discourage people from taking shelter unless it is permanent-causing them to sleep in the streets. If we want a city that works we need to look for many solutions and start listening to new voices in order to care for everyone here. The press needs to begin. Before you quote her please do your research! Also, hostile architecture?? Really? What kind of a city views plants as hostile? What’s next-taking away the art? Finally, if someone is making that much money do you really think they want anything to change?? The Coalition on Homelessness has disregarded working class people for long enough.
Hi Valerie —
Here’s the 990 tax form for the Coalition on Homelessness right here:
Friedenbach’s salary is listed at $48K. Can you please illuminate us on where the other $250K is coming from?
Hallelujah! Jennifer Freidenbach is not a credible voice on this issue. It doesn’t matter if she makes $1 a year. She offers no creative solutions and all she can do is ask for more money. She has been recycling the same talking points for 20 years and the problems only get worse and the amount of money the city spends only increases year after year.
That’s a fine argument to make, but it doesn’t require fanciful claims that she’s being paid exorbitantly. Be careful not to hurt your back moving the goalposts.
Joe she’s no doubt benefiting from functional expenses in form 990. She’s not just taking home 48k when it’s all said and done. Get her taxes and you will quickly find this out.
This is the prettier version of Mohammed Nuru’s rocks on Clinton Park (“Bouldergate”).
I hadn’t known about Johnson v. City of Grants Pass, so thank you for bringing that up.
As for providing shelters that are warm, rainproof and with restrooms for our homeless in the middle of winter (or at any time), the solution is just so obvious I am dumbfounded it hasn’t been instituted.
Simply open up the hallways, auditoriums, conference rooms, court rooms of all Government Office Buildings for shelter, including SFGOV, State of California, and especially the 9th Circuit Court on 7th Street. Let the homeless sleep there from sundown to sunup, and let them bring their pets inside as well. Provide a dinner and breakfast and ask the homeless to clean up the rooms before they leave for the day.
Put some containers outside and build an area where the unhoused can securely store valuables.
Have you seen how wide the corridors are at City Hall? Or how magnificent the restrooms are?
We could probably get 200 people sleeping on the floor under the rotunda, and another 300 in the hallways on the upper floors.
I promise you, open up Government, TAXPAYER funded and built, Buildings to the homeless, and quite soon, we’ll have no homeless problem at all. All would be sheltered.
We should also create some safe-injection sites in those buildings at the same time. In the name of harm reduction.
If anyone thinks I am joking. I am not joking.
I love it when people who don’t know what they’re talking about love to pretend that their half-baked ideas are so simple and actual experts are the true fools for not having thought of it first.
Cynthia, if you wanted to be helpful and not just be a Cynthia, you would explain all the horrors of my plan.
But first go to your local Whole Foods and pick up a six-pack of humor
So basically the city supports white, wealthy people taking over and making the city their own. This is not a democratic city, this is a monarchy with lord’s and lady’s doing as they please. Eat the rich! Fuck your money and fuck your values!
Right, it’s just the “rich people” who are tired of the junkies, homeless encampments, stolen goods flea markets, and open air drug markets.
SF needs a buffer law to explicitly ban camping within a distance of a building for fire safety. There are several burn scars in the North Mission. People got burned out of their units on 15th and SVN.
The civil rights of people to sleep in tents on the sidewalk is not greater than the civil rights of tenants to not get burned out of their apartments.
In the same way that advocates prioritized the rights of thieves to sell their stolen goods on the sidewalk over the civil right of seniors and people living with mobility challenges to pass without hindrance, to access Muni and BART, it seems that the “advocates” are paid by the conservative Democrats to put forth the most appalling positions which are then associated with progressives politically to ensure continued conservative Democrat rule.
Nobody gets paid to be this incompetent and ineffective for so long.
Housing is not forthcoming. It has not been and it won’t be. Time for advocates to get moving with plan B or shuffle off and give others a chance.
We the people in the Inner Mission want Jennifer Friedenbach to get out her checkbook to pay the working class tenants who lived in the wood structure apartment building at 15/South Van ness. An encampment against the building there made a fire that burnt the building, rendering those tenants homeless and their belongings ruined. This is just one example. Please get out your checkbook
Good work to the neighbors installing the planters. The city does nothing. Hillary Ronen has been singing the same song for years, and look at the Mission. Only in San Francisco would the city favor tent encampments with their fires, assaults, crime, and drug dealing over plants.
I was naively guessing the plant containers were placed by the City.
I live in the mid-Market. We are a natural place for street junkies to come to and spread out. What we have going for us here are a few people who make it their business to call the police non-emergency number over and over citing city laws about knives, threats, garbage, lack of space to walk or push a stroller, etc until they are moved on by the police the first day they drop a blanket or tent here. The police learn that this is a block that will complain and they start moving people out without calls. It is a never ending job but our block shows that it works. Of course huge planters are great. But you need a lot of them. Plant them with nectar producing local plants and you will see butterflies there instead of passed out or fighting junkies. But we live in a city where the elite that lives safely away from them are beguiled with these disadvantaged people so always be prepared for theft, ravers in the night, the usual. But you don’t have to live with these street people 24/7.
I was so grateful when barrels showed up on 25th street between Van Ness and Mission. There hasn’t been an encampment there since, so it seems to be working. This is a great and creative idea.
Just say no to street sleeping. Why is this allowed? With the exorbitant budget The City has for homeless services, why is there no one central place unhoused people so they can find shelter, access services, and get the help they need to get back into housing of their own. The tents with accompanying trash are a disservice to all parties. Oh wait, I guess it’s good for all the non profits that suck up the money with no accountability on the outcome of the folks they’re supposed to be helping!
35 inch planters city wide!!!
I am a Mission resident of some 40 years. I find it disgusting that people try to block sleeping space for those who have no alternatives. Spend that money supporting elected officials who support housing and social/medical support for homeless people.
Catherine Cusic and others who are upset about the planters…yes people do need help, people have a right to safe housing, people deserve dignity regardless of their struggles. And at the same time, if there is someone outside your window smoking meth, screaming all night, threatening neighbors…what are people supposed to do? Diplomatic conversation doesn’t work in this scenario. Masochism isn’t an expression of compassion. Housed people also need to sleep in order to function in daily life, and sometimes unhoused people are not good neighbors. What’s the solution? If you’d like to experience this dilemma firsthand, feel free to let everyone know that you’re willing to host.
Also, people keep saying that we need to put this energy into building more housing for the unhoused. We definitely should do that, but we have a long-term systemic problem that leads to people being on the street with no way into housing, and we also have a short-term problem, which people are trying to address with the planters. Yes, the unhoused do need to be able to camp somewhere. But if there’s a man screaming outside your window and it goes on for weeks or months, lobbying politicians to build housing is not going to stop the screaming. Is the solution to just forget about sleeping, forget about functioning during the day, accept all the ways that it impacts you on a daily basis? I’ve never heard anyone address these questions seriously.
There are plenty of alternative sleeping spaces that are not adjacent to wooden residential structures.
The City and the progressives captured by Care Not Cash nonprofits have had decades to put the basics together. They’ve not done this, and after 20 yr of wedge homeless ballot measures, the progressive political projectis DOA.
The only way to pick up left of center politics in SF is to disarm homelessness as a political wedge, not to ride compassion as a hobby horse for virtue signaling.
The best show of compassion is to win politically.
My take is that the professional progressives will continue to do what they’re paid to do–adopt policies under the guise of compassion that the electorate finds appalling, tolerating encampment squalor, rationalizing the sale of stolen goods blocking sidewalks and access to transit.
Do you all ever run these policies through to their logical conclusion to see if what you’re proposing ends up as a losing political absurdity? Or is this just all about people being seen being compassionate by their friends?
I’m torn on homelessness. I care about people but we’re not doing anyone any favor by pretending this is an ok way to live.
Being liberals doesn’t mean we have to accept everything & anything.
I wish we could at least get some sort of social contract with people in these encampments: you can stay if you don’t block the sidewalk, if you don’t urinate or defecate on the street, if you don’t scream on top of your lungs and scare people, etc. We have to draw the line somewhere—no?
Some of us are trying to raise little kids. In the Mission, it’s become almost impossible to walk to a playground without encountering triggering scenes on the way.
Uhm, yeah, that’s not gonna be a solution. What are you going to do when they eventually break that contract? Take them to court? You’d just be setting the yourself up for failure because once you have the contract with them you won’t be able to enforce anything against them without ultimately having to resort to a civil action for breach of contract.
And where would you suggest these unhoused people use the bathroom? In this social contract of yours
‘Friedenbach, with the Coalition on Homelessness, remained unsympathetic.
“I would love for that kind of energy to go into fighting for housing,” Friedenbach said.’
That’s pretty rich coming from the person who just spend huge amounts of money and time suing the city to stop encampment sweeps. Maybe she should use her energy to fight for housing instead of keeping people in tents. But I guess she wouldn’t have a job of there are no people in tents.
as someone with mobility disabilities needing a clear sidewalk, i am constantly forced into the street by cars parked on the sidewalks or blocking the sidewalk while parked in a driveway. last year, i did the entire crosstown trail in parts. so many sections of the ‘trail’ left me frustrated by these ‘privileged’ car owners.
i would rather be inconvenienced by my brothers and sisters needing shelter.
More greenery is pretty much always a good thing though so unsurprising that AT&T has the saddest looking and clearly worst tended plants you showed. Reminds me of when I had the misfortune to have them as a provider. I think people are past the point of feeling guilty about not wanting junkies “camping” next to their homes or workplaces.
I’m all for it, esp if it means cleaner and greener sidewalks. It should go without saying that it’s a health risk, and unsafe for people (housed or unhoused) as well as dogs, to allow camping or squatting to persist the way it has.
It’s also getting pretty tired, hearing people like Jennifer Friedenbach use dishonest tactics and red-herring arguments to dissuade or shame people from doing the only thing they can to keep their neighborhood clean, safe etc.
Unhoused residents of San Francisco are San Franciscans.
Housed residents of San Francisco are San Franciscans.
Let’s not slip into thinking that “residents” refers only to housed residents, as the headline an the article do.
I’m from the City of Richmond in the East Bay, and I see the same sort of language used here. Our homeless residents are Richmonders. Housing these Richmond residents should be the top priority of city government, working with state and county governments as well as nonoprofits.
At least the planters should not catch on fire and render the “privileged” dead or homeless….
Some of these were installed recently near Bryant and 18th. The bus stop cleared up but those folks have just moved up towards the MUNI yard. Lots of tents around here and Harrison St near the old Lyft HQ. I understand the impulse even though it only helps the property and not the situation – because no actor or amount of funding appears to be effective in stemming this. Also wish people fought as hard for housing.
this article is a bit misleading/underinformed – as long as you leave the minimum path of travel, freestanding above-ground sidewalk planters within a certain size don’t require a permit. the link for permits is for sidewalk gardens, not planters.
Many street and parks in mission look like a 3rd world failed country. Disadvantaged unhoused ppl on the streets in tents and many times just cardboard and blankets.
What are we doing ?! Where are the YIMBY allies to these people?? Seeing homeowners and privileged business owners set up all this type of anti homeless infrastructure is sick.
We are in liberal SF and in the most liberal progressive part of SF. How is this happening here? Makes me sick. We need owners to welcome these ppl into our homes and to give them the spare room. I’ve left the SF Dems and I’m now a full blown democratic socialist. We all share in this. What the hell is Biden doing ?? Ppl need help. He’s stumbling around DC fling nothing. I’m fine with $7 a gallon gas but walking past 15-20 homeless on a block is sad.
No one tweaking on the streets consulted with me whether partying with meth was a good idea …
It’s happening because addiction makes a person want to keep using, not get clean, and there is no enforcement of laws against public use of fentanyl nor meth nor compulsory drug rehab here. It happens here because in other places you choose between jail or mandatory rehab when you use dangerous drugs in public.
Welcome meth, fentanyl, crack, and heroin addicts into our homes? How do you think that will turn out?
And if you’re wondering why things are they way they are in SF, look no further than city hall and their full scale enabling of the homeless and addiction epidemic. Why do they enable this type of behavior you? Well, there’s lots of money to be made in the homelessness ‘non-profit’ sector. Like everything in this country, it’s pure grift plain and simple.
Terri, how many homeless have you welcomed into your home?
Try it and get back to us on how it goes.
Street addicts so lost in their needles and pipes that their hands get red and puffy and scabs cover their heads and their rags have a hard time covering them are disadvantaged. But who is disadvantaging them. People working or retired who happen to live on these streets that addicts find convenient for housing or their pushers who the city allows to sell them what they smoke and shoot up. The city is spending close to a billion a year for these disadvantaged people now. Maybe the city in allowing them to kill themselves slowly here is the evil actor. In the end the voters will decide at some point who to blame.
“owners to welcome these ppl into our homes”
How about renters who have extra space but, if they can crack the rent, will not entertain the thought of a potential nightmare roommate. Same reason many “owners” and landlords prefer to leave units vacant. No way to remove problem tenants.
If you, personally, have not sheltered an housed person, found them work and an affordable place to live – demanding others do so is …. well …. you can figure it out.
A neighbor in the Mission got into meth, and the neighbors had to endure listening to this person screaming in the apartment for a yr or so all day & night. Then their burned the building down suspiciously, and everyone lost their apartments. Last we heard this person was living on the streets. I do not think you’d really offer them your spare rm.
Conservertorship seems like the only decent thing to do, along with a nationally funded shelter program. $1M ‘affordable housing condos’ in the Mission is a huge waste of money. Group housing in less expensive locals would be a much better alternative. SF has 700M for this yet it just seems to get worse.
Planters and having all the neighbors on a 311 alert are the only tools housed residents have to keep things for deteriorating. For those who’ve lived here for several decades quality of life in the City is definitely getting worse, as street drugs are more destructive inducing psychosis that were are all too familiar with.
Right on, neighbors! If Hillary Ronen and “homeless advocates” refuse to allow the city to heal it’s time to take things into your own hands.
How about the camps that completely block the sidewalk with tents and trash? I walked yesterday from 14th to 26th on Folsom and Harrison — and I had to walk out into the street 3 separate times because camps were completely blocking the sidewalk. Unsafe for me and untenable for folks with disabilities. A couple weeks ago there was one camp on Harrison completely blocking the sidewalk — stretching from the wall of BestBuy to a parked car with Oregon plates.
And to Jennifer “people are up against buildings because it creates some modicum of shelter against wind” — how many buildings have to burn down in the Mission because of tent fires before you realize this is unacceptable?
To everyone putting out planters and greening the Mission, THANK YOU! Just be warned — as someone with sidewalk planters for 10+ years, the upkeep is significant. It’s a daily struggle to keep them clean. Although the number of plants that I’ve had dug up and stolen has gone way down over the years — it used to happen quite frequently.
True that about keeping the planters clean! One of our numerous “unhoused neighbors” (in the 10 or so tents completely obstructing one end of our street, and spilling garbage into the street itself, rendering the entire area impassible) just decided to use our tree well as a toilet. Human excrement is malodorous, unsafe, and unsanitary – especially when we pay high property taxes to support a portapotty facility right on the corner of our block. Supervisor Ronen: Are you listening? Do you care about the working-class areas like the Inner Mission? Or do you only hear the voices of the wealthy folks in your own area of Bernal Heights?
She doesn’t care. Ask her any question of Facebook it is ignored but say anything slightly calling her out and she defends herself. Email her? Form letter response blaming someone else, like the fire department for the fires. Because of this I bought http://www.HillaryRonenDoesNotCare.com and just wait until it’s election time…
True that, supervisors should come from the flat areas – I’m looking at you Ronan & Preston high on the hill w/ your values you project but don’t live around the consequences. Neither offer housing, but make the city worse for renters and owners alike.
We need a DA to crack down on drug sales that feed this epidemic.
Advocate For Homeless? Where? Stop ✋saying people of San Francisco being anti- homeless. If so being anti- homeless then have encampment move to your neighborhood where you live or where Jennifer. How would you feel?
City need to clean up the mess.
Homeless advocates believe that housed disabled people are higher on the privilege scale than homeless addicts that just got off the bus from red states. Therefore, disabled housed people don’t merit consideration.
I am grateful to my neighbors who have put in planters. Our building has been broken into several times by homeless folks camping nearby. I’m not heartless, just want to be safe in my building.
Agree with Jennifer Friedenbach and also wish that kind of energy would go into getting rid of cars parked on the sidewalk.
Jennifer Friedenbach’s frustration is misplaced. All this energy should go into relentlessly advocating to Mayor Breed that she provide the leadership to fix this problem. It’s no surprise that residents are taking matters into their own hands to keep sidewalks clear and clean since the City won’t do it. That the City and homeless advocates myopically push “housing first” as the solution to street sleeping is cruel and inhumane. People should not be allowed to sleep on sidewalks! How anyone can defend the slum like conditions we see in the Mission and Tenderloin is beyond me.
We need to fully address this issue and provide ALL SERVICES needed – emergency shelter for those on the street right now and on demand drug and mental health treatment. Hanging our hats on “housing first” as we’ve done for decades is not solving this problem.
New video “Beyond Homeless: Finding Hope” outlines what Houston TX did, showing real mayoral leadership bringing business and community leaders together to provide real, effective solutions.
“Beyond Homeless: Finding Hope”