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San Francisco’s sanctioned camp sites for homeless during pandemic spark debate

May 23, 2020

By Augiue Martin : cnn – excerpt

San Francisco (CNN)While thousands of people remain unsheltered in San Francisco amid the coronavirus pandemic, a controversial proposal to allow the homeless to pitch tents in the city’s parks has sparked debate among lawmakers and residents in a city famous for its liberal politics…

Facing legal action from some residents, San Francisco recently opened its first “Safe Sleeping Site” in the shadow of City Hall, providing a supervised and physically distanced area where unsheltered residents can legally camp in tents. A second designated site has also been selected and is expected to open soon…

City’s residents frustrated

Some of the city’s residents, however, are increasingly disturbed by what they’re seeing on the streets…

‘Safe sleeping villages’ met with opposition

Many San Francisco residents, however, submitted letters of opposition, and the proposal was met with pushback by Senator and former San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, who wrote a letter to Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee on May 4 arguing that there are many other suitable alternatives for housing the burgeoning homeless population.

“San Francisco has numerous options to deal with the critical shortage of safe shelter: continuing the Mayor’s hotel program, enforcing social distancing and healthy conduct in group housing and shelters, and expanding the RV programs and temporary shelters,” Feinstein said.

“This could include tents on unused parking lots and closed schoolyards, as well as public facilities such as the Cow Palace and Port property. These locations are available, have utilities, and can be more easily restored to original uses than can park lands.”
But the mayor’s office pushed back on Feinstein’s idea, citing concerns about the virus spreading through the city’s unsheltered population… (more)

Thanks Senator Feinstein for trying. What does it take to publicly shame the mayor? Why is she paying for empty rooms in hotels and services on the streets for the people who should be in those rooms? Is anyone in the trailers and RVs that the state provided? Why does the mayor refuse to provide public space, such as empty parking lots, to privately financed programs for temporary housing programs? Many people have tried to deal with this problem. We only get excuses from the mayor’s office. The citizens are fed up and tired of playing these power games amid daily announcements of corruption among high ranking city officials and business leaders . We want a return to the clean, quiet, peaceful city we used to know and love.

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