San Francisco residents fed up with alleged 911 hang ups

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Cow Hollow resident Shauna Matlin is fed up.

"What's disheartening is this is not the first time I've called 911 and had an issue."

Matlin has had multiple unpleasant run-ins with the homeless in San Francisco.

"A homeless woman who had a twin sized mattress on the street started screaming and yelling, blocked my way and had a syringe in her hand."

Matlin recalls another occasion that happened in April.

"I called 911 because there was a homeless man without pants on inside my garage sitting in my convertible."

While each circumstance is different, Matlin says she felt threatened each time. Her response from 911 dispatchers, she alleges was nothing short of unhelpful.

RELATED: Local N-1-1 numbers to call for assistance in the Bay Area

"He told me this was not an emergency and this was not life or death and hung up on me."

Lori Matthews lives in Pacific Heights and encountered a seemingly homeless person inside her building-- possibly wielding a weapon.

"I told 911 this was a robbery in progress and it still didn't register to them as being critical."

Matthews says she doesn't feel like the agency is listening to the people they serve.

We asked 911 to pull call logs from each instance and were told the calls needed to be reviewed by a Quality Assurance Manager first. They sent us a statement which did not address the hang-ups but says:

"San Francisco residents, visitors and businesses should call 911 for police, fire or medical emergencies. Ask yourself, is there a danger to life, property of the environment? Is there a crime happening now? Is someone having a medical emergency and needs immediate assistance? Is there a fire? If the answer is YES to any of these questions, immediately call 911.

San Francisco also has other numbers you can call for non-emergency situations or information on city services. If you need a police officer but it is not an emergency then call 415-553-0123. Examples include noise complaints, loitering or wellness checks. If you need city services or information call 311. Examples include street and park maintenance, graffiti or abandoned vehicles.

We encourage people to tell us about their experience using in 911 in San Francisco by visiting For people with concerns with how their call was handled, the Department of Emergency Management will review the call and take corrective action if appropriate."

It's not enough for Matthews who says she's tired of feeling helpless.

"You think you have these services in place that your taxes paid for and they're not delivering."

If it weren't for her job as an attorney Matlin says she's fed up and done with San Francisco.

"I can't take it anymore. I can't take it. It's disgusting, so yes. If I could leave I would."

ABC7 News will stay on this story and provide more details once the Department of Emergency Management is able to review the women's 911 recordings.
Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.