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SFPD posts before and after photos of cleared homeless camps

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Tenderloin station rousted tent dwellers Tuesday

San Francisco Battles With Homelessness Problem Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The San Francisco Police Department’s Tenderloin Station took to Twitter Tuesday to report the removal of tents on Ellis and Stevenson Streets, following up on San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell’s promise to roust sidewalk campsites.

“We tackled the 300 block of Ellis and the 400 block of Stevenson with SF Public Works this morning,” a tweet from Tenderloin Station staff reads, accompanied by before-and-after pictures showing tents and personal belongings of homeless people on sidewalks in the morning and then the same sidewalks cleared out later in the day.

The Tenderloin sweep comes days after San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell publicly vowed to break up homeless camps yet again, declaring, “Enough is enough. We have offered services time and time again and gotten many off the street, but there is a resistant population that remains, and their tents have to go.”

The photos are, presumably, intended to provide an unambiguous demonstration that the city has followed through, and those who back Farrell’s efforts might like seeing the visual proof.

The imagery comes off as a bit chilling as some residents responded to the tweetby asking what happened to the people previously living in those tents.

In 2016, San Franciscans passed Prop Q with 51.77 percent of the vote, making it illegal to place a tent on a city sidewalk without a permit. But the law also sets a few minimum considerations for tent owners, as the City Controller explained ahead of the vote:

The City would be required to offer housing or shelter, though the proposed ordinance does not specify the number of days of housing that must be offered. [...] The proposed ordinance requires the City to provide written notice 24 hours in advance to individuals and also to post the notices in the area of the encampment. The affected individuals’ personal property, with certain exceptions, would be stored by the City for at least 90 days.

Also on Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors declined to endorse a bill by San Francisco’s State Senator Scott Wiener that might remove some of the city’s chronically homeless from the street altogether, but might also infringe on their civil rights.

Board President London Breed’s motion of support for SB 1045 received a majority 6-5 vote, but for procedural reasons it needed eight votes to pass. Five lawmakers indicated they were too uncertain about the bill’s ramifications to throw support behind it.

In Sacramento, a senate committee passed SB 1045 unanimously the same day.