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The Vice Squad Cometh: SF's Civil War on Housing

So. Yesterday we ran a little ditty on Chron reporter C.W. Nevius's piece on the Downtown Outreach Program et cetera, wherein he claimed that 90 percent of voters in a recent Chron-administered poll voted for a city crackdown on our dear SoMa. Enter the SFBG Politics Blog, where Steve T. Jones has launched a counter-attack against Nevius, who he considers a bridge-and-tunneling, hate mongering, sensationalist who allows his coverage to be driven by the "400-plus" blog comments he has recently received on the subject of homelessness. Jones has taken it to the mattresses, copying his readers in on a series of polemic exchanges with Nevius, whose responses were, we must admit, a bit dodgy.

Not content to ride the bench, this morning SF Weekly dropped a long, scathing indictment on the Mission Hotel, at 520 South Van Ness Street. Home to 248 "single occupancy" units, the building is the largest—and worst—of 15 city-taxpayer-funded Care not Cash hotels. Weekly writer Matt Smith's investigation into the controversy surrounding the sordid hotel, which has been run into the ground run by alleged gang member/ drug dealer/ loan shark-cum-THC (Tenderloin Housing Clinic) manager Carlos Enrique Mendoza Hernandez for the past three years, until his termination in July. By all accounts, the place is a madhouse—not an example of what San Franciscan taxpayers likely associate with the phrase "helping the homeless."

As if we needed further proof, yesterday's USA Today spot on gentrification indicated that Americans really are emotionally attached to and invested in the safety of their homes and neighborhoods. And if today's explosion of heated clips, posts, and comments aren't proof enough... blinders aren't quite cutting it here, either. SF, we're past the point of no return (cue Phantom of the Opera sidetrack). The issues of homelessness and housing, public safety and property have had a divisive effect on the city as of late. This is just an observation here (OK?) but it all appears so gray to us—and by that, we mean extraordinarily murky and complicated. Yet public opinion—specifically, as we're seeing it played out in the comment boxes here and on our fellow blogs—seems so staunchly polarized. Pandora's box, open on up!
· Yes, Chuck, enough is enough [SFBG Politics Blog]
· The Vice Hotel [SF Weekly]
· C.W. Nevius visits the homeless sweep area South of Market [SF Gate]
· Survey Says... SF Backs SoMa Plan [Curbed SF]
· The best of times, the worst of times? America’s public gloom contradicts people’s enduring, if private, confidence [USA Today]

Single occupancy unit from the Mission Hotel; Image courtesy Jake Poehls/ SF Weekly