San Francisco residents say crime is up due to homeless encampments

Wednesday, July 6, 2016
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Residents in San Francisco's Mission District say crime is up due to homeless encampments.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Homelessness is a major concern in San Francisco, but solving the problem won't be easy. Some residents in the Mission said they feel under siege.

One resident said that neighborhood concerns voiced at a meeting with law enforcement last week were dismissed and there seems to be no resolution in sight..

"I called this morning, I said this is ridiculous," said Rafael Directo, Mission resident.

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Directo says he's constantly calling the city because property crimes have increased since tent encampments began popping up in his neighborhood a year ago.

"I have neighbors down the street who are going to move because they can't take it anymore and that's sad," said Directo.

A tent in his neighborhood is right across from a children's park. One of the occupants admits some of the homeless are responsible for breaking into cars and stealing bikes. But she's not planning to leave.

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"You said the city has come out to offer you shelter," said ABC7's Carolyn Tyler.

"They have, but they don't take us nowhere," said Maria, homeless.

Amos Howard is also homeless. His friend died on the streets in the Mission today.

"Why don't the neighbors start getting a fund together to help house us and then we won't be on the street," said Howard.

Within the next two years the city plans to open six more navigation centers that have proven to be a popular path to housing for the homeless. In the meantime the district attorney's office believes the community, the police and DA need to work together to tackle the troublemakers.

"We need people to come forward, we need people to report crime and incidents in order for us to build a case," said Alex Bastian, SF District Attorney's Office.

Directo says he'll speak out, but others are too intimidated.