By Duncan Smith
After years of watching their city become inundated with homeless people who use sidewalks as toilets and drug abusers who shoot up in the streets and in storefronts, San Francisco residents are fighting back.
As the New York Post reports, local residents, a law school, and business owners have filed a suit demanding the city clean up its Tenderloin neighborhood.
The suit claims a nearly 300-percent spike in the formation of shantytowns for the homeless, drug dealing, and poop-covered sidewalks, all of which have made living conditions “insufferable.”
The Post notes further:
The lawsuit, filed in federal court May 4 by a group of plaintiffs led by the University of California Hastings College of the Law, seeks a court order to stop the city from using the neighborhood as a “containment zone” for homeless encampments.
“Open-air drug sales and other criminal activity, plus crowds of drug users and sidewalk-blocking tents, pervade and threaten the health and lives of all of the Tenderloin’s residents,” the lawsuit says. “What has long been suffered in the Tenderloin has become insufferable.”
Citing a recent city survey, the suit says that the number of tents and homeless shelters in the 50-block section where more than 20,000 permanent residents live has more than doubled from 158 in early March to 391 as of May 1.
The city’s report also found a 285 percent hike in the number of structures and tents in the neighborhood from January through last week.
“We are suing because our neighborhood has become a pandemic containment zone,” UC Hastings Chancellor David Faigman told CNN. “Tents are blocking streets, tents are blocking doorways, there are needles in the streets, there’s open-air drug dealing.”
Faigman is calling on Mayor London Breed and the city’s police department to “clear the streets,” though cops have been directed not to remove the tents even though they pose a massive health risk to residents.
“We need the tents to be removed and we need the drug dealers to be stopped,” Faigman said. “Leaving them on the streets is no solution.”
One of the suit’s plaintiffs, a mother of three, also expressed concerns with contracting coronavirus that may be more rampantly spread through homeless populations.
Breed is doing what past San Fran mayors have done — she’s essentially blowing off the plaintiffs.
“We are committed to ensuring our most vulnerable neighbors are safe and have access to the resources they need to stay healthy during this public health crisis,” Breed said in a statement — whatever that means.
Faigman isn’t buying. He called Breed’s plan an “entirely inadequate” response to the situation.
“It essentially institutionalizes the status quo,” Faigman told CNN. “It simply leaves everybody in place. It is a Band-Aid when a bandage is needed and is simply inadequate.”
Others are also tired of the filth and the city’s inaction.
Another critic of the Democrat-run city of San Francisco says the combo of high-tech billion-dollar corporations and the multimillionaires they have spawned are a stark contrast to the growing number of homeless and drug-addicted living in squalid encampments where they relieve themselves on public streets in full view of hapless residents.
He compared it to “high-tech feudalism,” in fact.
Business owners must deal with rampant, brazen theft, often costing them hundreds of dollars per day. There are homeless defecating and urinating all along their storefronts. Drug-addicted shoot up in their bathrooms nearly to the point of death.
“Our society is falling apart,” said Gilles Desaulniers, who settled in San Fran 40 years ago from Canada, opening two shops but having since sold one and looking to unload his current business where he sells fresh fruit, vegan snacks and organic wines.
“If people do not play by some rules, society does not function. But it feels like there is no order, there is no shame,” he added.