San Francisco Homeless Camp Dismantled

A city worker carries away debris from a tent city along Division Street Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, in San Francisco. Homeless people have until the end of Friday to vacate a rambling tent city along a busy San Francisco street declared a health hazard by city officials earlier this week. The mayor's office says about 40 tents remain, down from a high of 140 tents this winter. The tents have lined both sides of a street under a freeway overpass for months, drawing complaints from residents and businesses. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

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.

Jodie Coombes, 39, is among the homeless men and women who lived in a gathering of more than 200 tents, and were given 72 hours to depart. Photograph: Maria L La Ganga for the Guardian

Jodie Coombes, 39, is among the homeless men and women who lived in a gathering of more than 200 tents, and were given 72 hours to depart. Photograph: Maria L La Ganga for the Guardian

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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