Residents and businesses in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood have expressed frustration about the city’s handling of a local “safe sleeping” site, citing erratic behavior from homeless people along with interruptions to traffic and normal business functions, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The city announced plans to build the sleeping site next to an existing soup kitchen in 2020 and promised security and trash pickup along with other city services it said would make the site safer than existing homeless encampments, according to the Chronicle.
Instead, the site has been plagued with public urination, threats of violence against residents and a host of issues for business owners, some of whom have left or are considering relocating.
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The sleep site’s users urinate and defecate on the streets, business owners told the Chronicle. Lillain Siou, a local business owner, described hosing down the side of her building after it was used as a bathroom.
“There would be garbage strewn all over. It was just a dumping ground,” she told the outlet.
“They’ve been terrible neighbors,” Zachary Eisenberg, vice president of Anresco Laboratories, a food and cannabis testing laboratory near the site, told the Chronicle. His father filed a police report after a homeless man in the sleep site threatened him, but David Eisenberg said they received no response.
The city closed down a frequently used street in order to house the safe sleeping site, but the closure has caused issues for local businesses, according to the Chronicle.
On top of loitering and open-air drug dealing, the street closure made functions like offloading merchandise to businesses nearly impossible. Clients of the soup kitchen and sleeping site frequently block loading docks with their cars, and in some instances have threatened shop owners when asked to move their cars.
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Evergood Sausage Vice President Don Miller said the site had created a “living hell,” he told the outlet. Despite the business donating hundreds of pounds of sausage to the soup kitchen over the years, its clients frequently blocked his loading docks and caused business issues which eventually prompted him to move some of his operations down the street at a cost of about $700,000.
San Francisco has more than 7,700 homeless residents and pours $160 million annually into permanent housing programs for them. Residents complain of open-air drug use, frequent car break-ins, theft, public defecation and harassment.
Democratic San Francisco Mayor London Breed did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.