San Francisco residents set up tents to protest against homeless encampments

Lyanne Melendez Image
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
San Francisco residents protest against homeless encampments
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Some San Francisco residents frustrated with the number of homeless encampments throughout the city are protesting by setting up their own tents in front of city hall.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Frustrated by the number of homeless encampments around the city, some San Francisco residents decided to protest by setting up their own tents in front of city hall Monday morning.

There are five ballot measures that deal with the homeless situation in the city and one of them is Proposition Q, which would ban sidewalk encampments.

Some Potrero Hill and Mission District residents told ABC7 News they are desperate to find a solution to the homeless problem.

RELATED: Mission District residents say crime is up due to homeless encampments

They are fed up with the number of tents throughout the city used by homeless people. "There are people living on the streets and the city is slow to deal with it. The fact that its gotten this bad is just unacceptable," San Francisco resident Jennine Jacob said.

At the same time Jacob would like to see the city provide more housing and services for the homeless. "I believe that the tents are frustrating, the mess is frustrating and the crime is frustrating and myself I've been victimized by the crime," San Francisco resident Robert Weiss said.

RELATED: ABC7 proud to participate in SF Homeless Project

Proposition Q will be on the November ballot and besides allowing the city to ban sidewalk encampments, it would also authorize city officials to remove them 24 hours after a person has been offered shelter.

Sam Dodge is with the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing and argues that right now the city doesn't have enough shelters. "We have 3,500 people that are un-sheltered and we have 1,600 shelter beds," he said.

San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee believes the city must first have the space before it can enforce mandates like Proposition Q. "If you don't take that approach, you take down tents and they end up going somewhere else," he said.

An example of that was the 2010 sit-lie law, which didn't allow anyone to sit or lie on the public sidewalk from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. It was called ineffective because it didn't solve the homeless problem.

The city is expected to open a third navigation center for the homeless next year which would help ease, but not solve the crisis.

Click here for full coverage of the 2016 election.