Do you remember San Francisco? 5

At last count, approximately 8,000 people live on San Francisco’s streets. 

Erica Sandberg writes at City Journal:

The most important walk you can take in San Francisco is not to the grand Golden Gate bridge, down crooked Lombard Street, or to the brightly painted Victorians in Alamo Square.

They are still there of course. But they are not the most memorable things about San Francisco. Not any more. What is?

It’s to the city’s large and gritty sixth district, which contains the Tenderloin, Civic Center, and South of Market neighborhoods. What you’ll find there will shatter any preconceived notions about homelessness you might have heard from activists, city departments, and elected officials. You’ll realize that San Francisco doesn’t have a homeless problem—it has a substance-abuse crisis. And Project Roomkey, California governor Gavin Newsom’s hotels-for-homeless plan that he’s touting as a model for the rest of the country, won’t help any more than a band-aid will cure a cancer patient.

Block after block, you’ll see thousands of people who are barely alive. Some are alone; others are piled on top of one another, running into traffic, or standing slumped over, unconscious. They’ll be injecting or smoking heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine in front of you, unaware or unfazed by your presence. Scabs cover their faces and bodies, limbs are swollen red and blue, often bloody and oozing pus. You’ll notice the garbage, rotting food, discarded drug detritus, and feces surrounding them. A shocking number are mere teenagers, but many are old or have aged well before their time.

Yet Newsom has declared that with programs like Project Roomkey, the United States can solve homelessness. To see the results of the program is to know what a bizarre claim this is. While a small portion of the unhoused are healthy enough to shift into and benefit from such housing, the vast majority are not—and their troubles won’t be alleviated by a hotel room.

Crime has also surged around the SIP motels and hotels, as people score from dealers just outside the lobbies. Shootings, robberies, and car break-ins have become commonplace, as have open-air drug use and sexual acts performed in broad daylight—an alarming change for neighborhoods like the Marina, which not long ago did not have a high population of unhoused, addicted people.

The tide of people coming into the city, drawn by easy access to cheap, potent narcotics, will continue unabated. Some may get a hotel room, but most will become fixtures on the streets. Few, if any, will get better. Based on current projections, more than 1,000 people will die from overdose in 2021.

Who or what turned pleasant charming San Francisco into a hellhole?

What political party governs the city? And the state?

To what party does Governor Gavin Newsom belong?

No prizes for the right answers.

Posted under corruption, Crime, Health, Leftism, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, April 28, 2021

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The worst slums in the world: San Francisco and Los Angeles 2

San Francisco and Los Angeles are extremely expensive slums.

Years of rule by Democratic Party Progressives have made them so.

NBC reports on the Diseased Streets of San Francisco:

How dirty is San Francisco? An NBC Bay Area Investigation reveals a dangerous mix of drug needles, garbage, and feces throughout downtown San Francisco. The Investigative Unit surveyed 153 blocks of the city – the more than 20-mile stretch includes popular tourist spots like Union Square and major hotel chains. The area – bordered by Van Ness Avenue, Market Street, Post Street and Grant Avenue – is also home to City Hall, schools, playgrounds, and a police station.

The Investigate Unit spent three days assessing conditions on the streets of downtown San Francisco and discovered trash on each of the 153 blocks surveyed. While some streets were littered with items as small as a candy wrapper, the vast majority of trash found included large heaps of garbage, food, and discarded junk. The investigation also found 100 drug needles and more than 300 piles of feces throughout downtown.

“If you do get stuck with these disposed needles you can get HIV, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and a variety of other viral diseases,” said Dr. Lee Riley, an infectious disease expert at University of California, Berkeley. He warned that once fecal matter dries, it can become airborne, releasing potentially dangerous viruses, such as the rotavirus. “If you happen to inhale that, it can also go into your intestine,” he said. The results can prove fatal, especially in children.

Riley has researched conditions across the poorest slums of the world. His book, titled Slum Health, examines health problems that are created by extreme poverty. Based on the findings of the Investigative Unit survey, Riley believes parts of the city may be even dirtier than slums in some developing countries.

The contamination is … much greater than communities in Brazil or Kenya or India,” he said. He notes that in those countries, slum dwellings are often long-term homes for families and so there is an attempt to make the surroundings more livable. Homeless communities in San Francisco, however, are often kicked out from one part of town and forced to relocate to another. The result is extreme contamination, according to Riley.

The solution that the ruling Democratic Party Progressives come up with is more of the same that caused the problem in the first place: providing for bums

“Unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “We’re losing tourists. We’re losing conventions in San Francisco. All of this is happening because we aren’t addressing the root cause, which is we need more temporary beds for street homelessness.”

Ronen believes San Francisco has been too focused on permanent housing for the homeless and that the city has neglected to provide enough temporary shelter, which can provide the homeless a respite from the streets. The city currently has about 2,000 temporary beds. Ronen, however, believes an additional 1,000 are needed, at a cost of about $25 million.

Oh, it will cost much more than that. As soon as the word spreads that there will be more “temporary beds” for the “homeless”, more “homeless” will pour into your city, Mr. Ronen. You didn’t think of that did you? Or did you? Is that what you actually want?

“We need to find a source of revenue,” said Ronen. “Whether that’s putting something on the ballot to raise business taxes or taking a look at our general fund and re-allocating money towards that purpose and taking it away from something else in the city.”

Yeah –  make it a priority. Raise your enormously high property taxes even higher. That will mean more property tax paying home owners will leave the city. But don’t think about that.

Until the problem is fixed, Mohammed Nuru, the Director of the Public Works Department, is charged with the towering task of cleaning the streets, over and over again. “Yes, we can clean, he said, “and then go back a few hours later, and it looks as if it was never cleaned. So is that how you want to spend your money?”

The 2016-2017 budget for San Francisco Public Works includes $60.1 million for “Street Environmental Services”. The budget has nearly doubled over the past five years. Originally, that money was intended to clean streets, not sidewalks. According to city ordinances, sidewalks are the responsibility of property owners. However, due to the severity of the contamination in San Francisco, Public Works has inherited the problem of washing sidewalks. Nuru estimates that half of his street cleaning budget – about $30 million – goes towards cleaning up feces and needles from homeless encampments and sidewalks.

Even without actually doing it? Well, it’s not easy:

A single pile of human waste, said Nuru, takes at least 30 minutes for one of his staffers to clean. “The steamer has to come. He has to park the steamer. He’s got to come out with his steamer, disinfect, steam clean, roll up and go.”

A Herculean task. Mission almost impossible.

Asked if he’d be willing to give up part of his budget and allocate it to more directly addressing the homeless problem – which would likely alleviate his cleaning problem – Nuru said, “The Board of Supervisors, the mayor – those are decisions that they need to make.”  He added, “I want to continue cleaning and I want to be able to continue to provide services. The Public Works Department provides services seven days a week, 24 hours a day.”

An attempt at a clean-up in San Francisco

And this is from the Los Angeles Times:

Los Angeles County’s homeless population is increasing faster than the supply of new housing, even with the addition of thousands of beds in the last two years and millions of dollars beginning to flow in from two ballot measures targeting the crisis, according to a long-awaited report by the region’s homelessness agency.

The report showed that officials two years ago far underestimated how much new housing would be needed when they asked city and county voters to approve the tax measures.

It has simply never occurred to them, that the more free housing they provide, the more they will need to provide. Demand will grow exponentially.

As a result, a $73-million annual shortfall in funding for the county’s comprehensive homelessness program could more than triple …

Providing permanent housing for the county’s chronically homeless population would require more than 20,000 new units, about 5,000 more than projected two years ago, the report said.

The estimated shortage of emergency shelter and short-term rental subsidies also increased by double-digit percentages.

The report, known as the Housing Gaps Analysis, offers the latest sober assessment of the years-long surge in homelessness, marked by widespread tent encampments and rising demands for urgent action to curb the problem.

Curb? Not cure?

In a departure from its previous report, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority provided no analysis of costs associated with the needed housing in the revision released last week. …

Peter Lynn, executive director of the homeless authority, said Friday that new cost figures had not been calculated …

“Now,” [he said], “we have a plan for deploying new permanent supportive housing through Proposition HHH and Measure H. That does give us a way forward.”

The original analysis was prepared to quantify the difference between the housing and services existing at the time and what would be needed to get all the chronically homeless off the streets and quickly restore housing for those falling into homelessness.

Ah, that will fix it. Sure. No more “homeless” after that. Dust the problem off your hands. Get this lot tidily tucked away and you will not be expected to provide free permanent housing for anyone ever again.

The report became the basis for both Proposition HHH, the homeless housing bond approved by Los Angeles city voters in 2016, and the countywide Measure H sales tax for homeless services approved last year. …

When the supervisors review the budget in June they’ll face hard choices.

Phil Ansell, director of the county’s homeless initiative, acknowledged that the rising demand for housing and services will influence those deliberations, but he said that nothing in the report should deter the county from fulfilling its promise to voters.

“During the Measure H election we projected that Measure H would enable 45,000 families and adults to move from homelessness into permanent housing in the first five years of expanded services and that an additional 30,000 families would avoid becoming homeless,” Ansell said. “We are on track to achieve those targets.”

The 2015 homeless count, on which the previous analysis was based, put the number of people living on the streets across the county at just under 29,000.

Last year, the annual January count raised the number of unsheltered homeless people to nearly 49,000 …

The analysis released last week projected that more than 20,000 new units of supportive housing are needed to establish homes for chronically homeless people.

The earlier report had set the number at about 15,000, two-thirds of which the city was expected to provide with new construction funded by Proposition HHH. The rest would come from long-term rental subsidies funded by Measure H to supplement federal rent subsidies.

The gains in housing, however, were outstripped by the rising homeless population.

What a surprise!

The earlier report projected a reduction of 14% each year. If that had occurred, the total homeless population — including unsheltered and sheltered — would have dropped to 41,323 last year.

Instead, it climbed to nearly 59,000.

But of course Hollywood celebrities, those ardent Democrat Progressives with hearts perpetually bleeding for the poor, will help to alleviate the problem by offering a few rooms in their mansions to “homeless” persons or families.

Goes without saying.

Los Angeles

Posted under Leftism, Progressivism, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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How the Left literally stinks 1

This is from Townhall, by Debra J. Saunders:

How bad is the urine situation in San Francisco? This is not a joke: [recently] a light-pole corroded by urine collapsed and crashed onto a car, narrowly missing the driver. The smell is worse than I have known since I started working for The Chronicle in 1992. It hits your nose on the BART escalator before you reach Market Street. That sour smell can bake for blocks where street people sleep wrapped in dirty blankets.

Saunders is a conservative, but The San Francisco Chronicle bends leftward.

I talked to Mayor Ed Lee and rode around with police to find out what can be done to clean up San Francisco. …

Lee said things I didn’t think I’d hear a San Francisco mayor ever say. Like: “I do think that people are being somewhat more irresponsible.” (Remember: The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it exists.) …

This year, Hizzoner has ramped up public restroom access. … They’ve put a pissoir in Dolores Park. The mayor has budgeted more money for Department of Public Works cleanup crews and for housing to improve the lot of 500 homeless families at a time. The new Navigation Center in the Mission has drawn chronic homeless who resisted programs because they refused to part with their pets and possessions. …

We drove to King Street, to a stretch of unused road turned homeless encampment. Enterprising street people had hooked into electricity – there were dozens of cords plugged into power strips; someone had tampered with a fire hydrant for water (but now city workers say it has to be fixed before it can be used to put out a fire). There were couches, expensive-looking tents and piles of refuse. I saw a Vespa and at least a dozen bicycles. …

Across an overpass, I see new condos – a two-bedroom unit is for sale for $1.5 million. As the city gets smellier and scarier, I wonder, how many suckers can one city find to pay that kind of money in a neighborhood so clearly on the edge?

There are obviously very many rich Lefties who simply love the stink of San Francisco.

And the academics at U.C. Berkeley  cannot get enough of it:

I have just finished reading a June 2015 U.C. Berkeley Law School Clinic report, Punishing the Poorest: How the Criminalization of Homelessness Perpetuates Poverty in San Francisco. The authors maintain that San Francisco “is responding to homelessness with a punitive fist”. Punitive? As in tough? The report cites laws against overnight camping and lying on public sidewalks, as well as drug possession or alcohol consumption in public places. Such laws are Jim Crow 2015, according to the report; the term “quality of life” is an “offensive misnomer” that works against “poor people, people of color, and homeless people who are disproportionately impacted by these laws”. In short, if street people are self-destructive and anti-social, it’s because of the police.

I have to laugh because Lt. Nevin [of the San Fancisco Police Department] sounds like a social worker. He makes a lot of the same points as the Berkeley report. You can’t expect drug addicts to get clean without providing housing first, he says. And: “It doesn’t do any good to cite somebody and then run into them a week later and cite them again.” He wants more resources, like the Navigation Center, which take the time needed to steer the chronic homeless into the right programs.

There’s one point in the U.C. Berkeley report that does strike a chord – the argument that many SFPD actions just don’t work. Move a homeless man, and he just goes elsewhere, not into housing. The cycle of citations doesn’t work because street people don’t pay fines. Take away someone’s driver license for not paying fines and he or she can’t get to work. Arresting drug users is futile, I gather, because misdemeanors mean little more than a short stint in jail – hours maybe. Report ethnographer Chris Herring interviewed homeless people who told him arrests were turnaround events that resulted in, maybe, a night in jail, if that. At most, a weekend. …

San Francisco is an affluent and vibrant city. It shouldn’t smell like stale piss.

Why not? What a cold, far-right, conservative, uncompassionate, stuck-up, Tea Party sort of thing to say! You need to check your white privilege, Ms. Saunders.

(Only kidding!)

Posted under Commentary, Leftism, Progressivism, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

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