While the San Francisco housing market is saturated with primo mansions and gorgeous condos, not all residents are able to enjoy this boom. Take, for example, the city's visible homeless population, who are struggling to exist in the latest incarnation of Baghdad by the Bay
In 2015, San Francisco took notice of the tents popping up in the the Mission District, SoMa, and even the Castro. The cluster of tents created makeshift and verboten communities for those without permanent housing, most notably on Division Street under the freeway. This sparked local and national headlines, prompting city officials to dismantle the ramshackle camps in February shortly after Super Bowl 50.
Well, most of them. Tents can still be seen on city sidewalks, especially in the Mission.
But possibly not for long. After 45-year-old Luis Gongora, reportedly brandishing a knife, was shot and killed by police at a Shotwell Street encampment on April 7, Mayor Ed Lee has used the opportunity to ramp up his effort to rid his city of these camps.
"Once the various investigations have finished collecting evidence and completed their interviews of witnesses, I will be ordering the Shotwell camp to be taken down and for it not to come back," Lee told San Francisco Chronicle's Matier & Ross. He adds, "It is also time to focus on why the police were called to the scene in the first place."
While debate rages on as to whether or not the killing was justified — Julia Carrie Wong 's Guardian piece on the shooting's aftermath is a must-read — the roving camps will presumably move from sidewalk to sidewalk after authorities rustle them out of their current spot and into another. Until a longterm solution is employed, this will keep happening over and over.
As far as shelters goes, the city recently set up a new 150-bed shelter down on Pier 80 near India Basin and Dogpatch. Alas, it hasn't proven to be popular because it's not located anywhere near San Francisco's most dire homeless services in the Tenderloin. [UPDTAE: Good news. The shelter, according to the Chronicle, "is close to capacity each night."]
SF mayor plans crackdown on homeless camps citywide [Matier & Ross]