Even as San Francisco ushers its homeless population into ritzy hotels (at city expense), the city’s streets – particularly in districts like the Tenderloin – have seen a growing number of tents pitched by the homeless. And according to a lawsuit filed by law schools and the business community, the number of tents pitched by homeless in the district has climbed 300% since the coronavirus outbreak began.
We first reported on San Francisco’s latest genius policy idea – simultaneously wasting city money and burnishing its reputation for extravagant handouts to the homeless – more than a month ago, when the city first announced plans to place up to 3,000 homeless in hotels.
The lawsuit, which was filed by residents, businesses and the University of California Hastings College of Law, is pushing the city to clean up drug needles, human waste and liter in the streets.
But the demands also call for more sensible policies to be enacted to ensure that assistance can be provided for individuals living in sidewalk tents, arguing they are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19. About 400 tents currently occupy the neighborhood as San Francisco has had 1,943 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The virus has killed at least 34 people in the city.
Before rose-emoji Democratic socialists rush to slam these residents of the Tenderloin for acting like a bunch of rich liberal “NIMBYS” it’s worth hearing them out.
David Faigman, chancellor and dean at UC Hastings, which is heading the case in federal court, says the suit was filed because ‘our neighborhood has become a pandemic containment zone,’ reports Fox News.
“The city has basically cordoned off our area. Tents are blocking the streets. Tents are blocking doorways. There are needles in the streets. There’s open-air drug dealing” Faigman said.
The Tenderloin is home to more children, elderly persons and vulnerable populations per capita than any other neighborhood in the city.
Faigman adds that those populations are not being protected due to a lack of public COVID-19 testing.
He says residents fear the “virus is raging in the neighborhood.”
“There’s no other neighborhood in San Francisco that would tolerate that, and they would stand up and be counted. Tenderloin needs to stand up and be counted,” Faigman said.
Of course, if the city simply decides to settle this lawsuit by moving more homeless people from the neighborhood into ritzy hotels – where they are also sometimes supplied with drugs and alcohol – it would fully cement the following theory.
We present: How to get a free hotel room in San Francisco.
Step 1. Pitch a tent (preferably on a busy stretch of sidewalk).
Step 2. Harass the locals.
Step 3. Wait for the nice people from the city to take you to your new hotel suite home.