Clearing of Division Street homeless camp causes another San Francisco encampment to empty

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ByVic Lee KGO logo
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Homeless San Francisco resident Erroll home at a homeless encampment on Cesaer Chavez Street in San Francisco March 2, 2016.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The city says its cleanup of the homeless tents on Division Street this past week was a success.

Barbara Garcia, the health director for the city, said there were no arrests and 114 people went to shelters.

Almost all the tents are gone on Division Street and many who were living on the street are now in shelters, but there seems to have been a mysterious ripple effect on another encampment on Cesar Chavez Street.

RELATED: Deadline comes for Division Street homeless encampment to move along

The other large homeless camp was on Cesar Chavez Street under Highway 101. At its height there were a 100 or more homeless living under the freeway in tents and makeshift homes.

"Most of them pretty much left," said one homeless man at the camp on Cesar Chavez Street. He said he didn't know their current whereabouts.

"We used to have a big table here where people from different communities could come over here and eat," said Michael Rodriguez, a homeless squatter.

On Wednesday it was like a ghost town. Only Erroll Hall and just a handful of other squatters were left.

"Now we're here. There are five of us holding it down, yeah," Hall said.

Hall says his neighbors left abruptly and most left last weekend. "They dispersed when DPW and the police came and told everybody they got to go," Hall said.

Some reportedly went to the temporary city shelter on Pier 80, as did 95 others form the Division Street sweep. Others refused to go to shelters. They'd rather be free.

"The rules, getting there on time," said Patti Martinez who is homeless. "Eventually, I know I'd probably break one of those rules and get kicked out again," said Patti Martinez, who is homeless.

Hall has lived in the Cesar Chavez homeless camp for the past six months. He proudly showed off his house, a spacious tent with a couch and bed; clean and comfortable.

He knows he too will have to leave at some point. But for now, his home is here.