San Francisco neighbors pitch in to buy boulders to deter drug dealers, homeless

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Bay Area's high housing costs have contributed to the current homeless crisis. In one San Francisco neighborhood, people have put out boulders on the sidewalks so that there's no room for tents.

Asking not to be identified, one of the neighbors who pitched in to buy 24 boulders that are now placed on their sidewalk said, "You're looking at a turf war one night. It got to the point where everybody was just done. People had knives and guns and people were out fighting, carrying on and waking up people in the neighborhood."

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A "turf war" was the tipping point for this neighbor.

Through a neighborhood Facebook group, dozens on this block raised more than $2,000 dollars for a solution to a problem they say got worst with time-- drug dealers on their block.

"They had fights with each other, start fires... it was rough," said another neighbor.

For the last six months, these neighbors said they tried to do things the right way. They made over 300 reports through the city's 311 line and attended several city meetings.

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In one of those meetings someone unofficially advised to "buy boulders."

Around three weeks ago the 24 boulders were bought.

Eric Mills has been homeless for four years. We met him drying his clothes and says the boulders are not the solution.

"I think they're cool to look at but it's not going to solve the problem for what they put them here for," and added "Someone will come around eventually at night and ask you to move closer to the road. He's only going to come once. Once he turns the corner you're back to where you were hanging."

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We spoke to San Francisco's Public Works spokesperson, Rachel Gordon who confirmed they don't have any plan to remove the boulders.

"At this time, we have no plans to remove them; they are not blocking safe passage on the sidewalk or posing a hazard," said Gordon.

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