Proposition Q, which ostensibly makes it verboten for people to pitch tents on city sidewalks, won. The proposition was sparked by the bevy of tents that popped up along Division in SoMa and the Mission during and after Super Bowl 50.
Its author, Supervisor Mark Farrell, told the Chronicle, “Win or lose, it’s critically important that we have a policy conversation about our homeless situation in San Francisco, how we are going to make a real difference for those who are sleeping on our streets.”
Homeless advocates noted that such a law would be cruel considering San Francisco doesn’t have nearly enough housing or shelter beds for our city’s homeless population.
Makeshift tents on the corner of Mission and Van Ness. #TakingStock is a photo series about the things homeless youth carry with them in San Francisco, Calif. A recent study by University of California researchers and the Coalition on Homelessness surveyed 351 homeless people in San Francisco, finding that 46 percent had had things confiscated, and 38 percent had had their belongings destroyed by the city. Photo by Rian Dundon @rian_dundon Published on @californiasunday #sfhomelessproject #sanfrancisco #california #sfhomeless #economicinequality #EHRP #photojournalism #economichardship #documentingpoverty #poverty #homeless #homelessness #survival #weouthere #bayarea #riandundon
“[O]ur real loss won't be this hollow ban on tents,“ Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director for the Coalition on Homelessness, tells Curbed SF. “The real loss is Props J and S, which Prop Q proponents managed to kill with their vicious anti-homeless rhetoric.”
Voters turned down Proposition S, which was specifically homeless-centered and actually did get a huge majority of the votes, but of course failed anyway. Though seemingly ahead, Prop S needed two-thirds of the vote to pass, a requirement for certain tax-related laws in the city. It’s currently trailing at only 62 percent.
“You can't spend $700,000 demonizing homeless people and then expect voters to pay for solutions they have been told by Prop Q proponents already exist,” adds Friedenbach.