SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- One of San Francisco's former mayor says the city is spending way too much on the homelessness crisis.
Former Mayor Frank Jordan says despite Mayor London Breed pouring billions of dollars to try and fix things, conditions are not getting any better.
Jordan, who was mayor between 1992-1996, spent years trying to crack down on the homeless problem in the 90s.
This week, he told California Insider/The Epoch Times that Mayor London Breed's efforts are simply not working.
"When you look at the homeless issue, we spent $2.8 billion in 7 years," he said to California Insider. "We are averaging more than $700 million a year just on homeless. But when break that down, nobody seems to know if it's 7,000 homeless or 17,000 homeless."
Jordan criticized Mayor Breed's efforts to put the homeless in local hotels for housing. He says 70% of the homeless have mental health, drug, and alcohol problems and need around-the-clock supervision.
"They start fighting with people in hallways or lighting fires in the room, so we have 30 of those 70 hotels that are now suing the city because of the damage that's been caused in those hotels," he said.
Jordan says we need to try something new.
"I think you need mental health wards, you need group homes, and judge that will mandate 60-90 days of care, not just 72 hours and just put them out on the street," he said.
In the 90s, Jordan introduced the controversial Matrix Program, using police to crack down on the crimes that homeless people were committing.
More than 20,000 citations were issued but critics then said Jordan's program did not provide alternatives for homeless people.
Mayor Breed did not respond to the comments, but ABC7 News spoke to the SF Coalition on Homelessness.
"We tried it Franks' way. But it didn't work. It was an abject failure," Jennifer Friedenbach said. "When Jordan was mayor, we had way more homeless people than we had today. That didn't work. We tried it. It failed. Time to switch gears."
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