An alarming problem – the city’s homeless population is estimated at 7,000.
It was a health hazard… homeless men and women living in tents underneath the freeway… among rotting food, used needles, human excrement, and rats. Last Tuesday, February 23rd, the city declared the sprawling encampment a “public health nuisance” and gave its residents 72 hours to depart. Many of those living in upwards of 200 tents gathered their belongings and left.
Today, what tents remained were cleared away. Sanitation workers, police officers and outreach workers began arriving at 4:30 am, armed with brooms, power washers and trucks to haul away the remains, while defeated homeless campers pondered where to go now?
The Guardian reports that San Francisco has struggled with homelessness for decades; at the last biennial count in 2015, the homeless population was estimated at about 7,000, and Mayor Edwin M Lee has pledged to continue spending $250 million annually on “homeless prevention and solutions.”
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