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 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
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.