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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

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UncategorizedSome data about homeless people in SF

Some data about homeless people in SF

Look at the situation by the numbers. It will make you wonder about all of these sweeps

We’ve talked about the big myths around homelessness in San Francisco. We’ve discussed the problem of sweeping people off the streets when there’s nowhere for them to go. So let’s look at some actual numbers here.

The facts challenge some of the media assumptions about homeless people

The folks at POOR Magazine did a survey of 89 homeless people in SF, people who were “dwelling in tents, sleeping bags and cardboard on Duboce, 14th St, Trainor, and the Cesar Chavez Freeway underpass.” It’s likely that since the rains have come, many of those same people are in the tent cities that the mayor wants to demolish.

Here are the results of that survey, which you can read about here.

Of the unhoused people surveyed:

  • 60% are women ages 24-40
  • 30% are people of color from all four corners of Mama Earth
  • 30% are men
  • 10% are trans and non-gender-conforming
  • 60% became houseless after displacement from long-time homes and neighborhoods
  • 80% are living with untreated psychological disabilities
  • 70% are people living with physical disabilities

Theft of Belongings:

  • 100% of un-housed residents have experienced countless incidents of the theft of belongings by DPW/SFPD sweeps in a one-year period (see below); lost items include medicine, clothes, technology-phones, iPads, chargers, etc
  • 60% of un-housed residents experienced loss of personal effects /belongings with a value of over $2,000
  • 94% were unable to retrieve belongings from the city
  • 100% were unable to replace belongings due to poverty

Estimated total dollar amount of belongings stolen from 86 people:$109,000

 Sweeps documentation of 86 participants (includes ticketing and arrests), January 2015 thru January 2016


January -March 2015

-24 sweeps of individuals reported on Duboce st

-22 sweeps under 101 freeway – Cesar Chavez

-12 sweeps of south Van Ness

-23 sweeps of Trainor street behind Office Max


March 2015-May 2015

-28 sweeps Duboce street

-27 sweeps under 101 freeway

-8 sweeps of South Van Ness

-15 sweeps of Trainor St


May-August 2015

25 sweeps of Duboce

23 sweeps of under 101 freeway

10 sweeps of S. Van Ness

16 sweeps of Trainor


August -November 2015

46 sweeps of Duboce St.

33 sweeps of 101 freeway underpass

18 harassments, arrests, seizures on S. Van Ness

45 sweeps of Trainor (tickets increased)


November 2015-January 2016

121 sweeps of Duboce

47 sweeps, ongoing harassment, seizures of 101 underpass

45 seizures, 13 sweeps, 26 arrests of S. Van Ness

52 sweeps, harassment calls, seizures and 10 arrests at Trainor St


Those 86 people had no place to go. The shelters were full. Now there are 100 more shelter beds, almost all full.

The city is struggling to deal with the crisis, but nobody is taking responsibility for creating the crisis in the first place.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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  1. While others are trying to come up with positive solutions, Tim just views homelessness as one more bludgeon that he can use (ineffectively) against Ed Lee.

    Like the other day when he said that the reason that people were homeless was that they couldn’t afford the market rate rents in Ed Lee’s San Francisco. Apparently they can’t afford market rate rents anywhere else, but whateves.

    He ends this article with “nobody is taking responsibility for creating the crisis in the first place.”

    Maybe that’s because the people currently in charge were in middle school when the crisis was created.

  2. How about that PoS shown on Channel 7 last night who rents out three pup tents to addicts and prostitutes? Is he a victim too?

  3. As much a Tim Redmond may act like this is a crisis, unfortunately actual data says otherwise. You can look at the data for homeless counts going back years, and homelessness counts haven’t drastically changed since the institution of care no cash, in other words, tech didn’t show up and create SF’s homeless, it’s existed for some some time.

    The homeless population of SF in 2002 was 8,640, but it’s been in the low to mid 6000s for a decade.

    Also, Tim Redmond could of looked at the much more comprehensive data provided by the city, but instead he went with a survey from a issue based magazine. There results are drastically different. For example, the survey he used says the homeless are majority female, when it’s the exact opposite in the report.

    Unfortunately Tim Redmond can’t help but try to scapegoat homelessness onto folks who didn’t cause it, and politicize the actions of a mayor he doesn’t favor.

    Perhaps he doesn’t remember that even progressive savior Art Agnos tried to oust the homeless from the streets. http://www.nytimes.com/1990/07/06/us/san-francisco-s-mayor-ousts-homeless-camp.html

  4. I worked in a building on Cesar Chavez for many years. It had a big unfenced parking lot in front, where various people took up residence. We would call 911 when we thought someone really needed help–say, the man with no legs who fell out of his wheelchair. He would refuse services, and stayed on my employer’s property. The mess that was generated required a hazmat team to clean it up. The shopping carts that were left on this property were full of filthy (poopy) clothes, random stuff, half eaten cans of beans with mold on top– it seemed that the people using the carts were far from able to care for themselves. Very sad.

  5. And in any case, I like the data collection, its great. But let’s not get crazy and think these people haven’t been forced into stealing or breaking the law. Let’s use the data to keep them from getting there.

  6. I’ll make you a deal, let’s go down to one of the camps and see what percentage of the people have stolen goods. Or, I can just take pictures of more than half of them.

  7. That’s one guy out of 6000 homeless people. A guy named Jack ripped me off once, as did a guy I was smoking weed with. Do I get to vilify you by tangential association with either of them?

  8. Not at all, everyone can posses property and I’m sure a lot of it is quite personal and could never be quantified in $. However, if data is collected, please be sure to get both sides. Also, did that guy I passed yesterday really buy that pallet jack and 10 bike frames?

  9. and your point is that a homeless person can’t possess property, medications, clothing that would cost $1000 to replace? Are you Scott Weeeeener’s sock puppet or what?

  10. I think it’s great that someone is gathering this data as it is important in creating a solution. However, please do add another data point on how much of their property was stolen to begin with. A quick walk through Division will show countless stolen bikes, trash bins, recycling bins, pallets, pallet jack’s, sand bags, shoping carts.

  11. “The city is struggling to deal with the crisis, but nobody is taking responsibility for creating the crisis in the first place.” No, they’re too busy figuring out who to support in the next real estate development to create homes for the folks who need to live close to the tech bus stops, and too busy raping the Mission, a neighborhood they’ve ignored for years, and too busy not preventing the historical cleansing of this city of places like the Church of Coltrane, and too busy thinking of where to spend the next obscene chunk of cash without permission and support of the voters on some meaningless sports or other celebratory event while people go hungry, schools aren’t funded or safe, cops are dangerous….

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