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San Francisco residents put two dozen boulders along sidewalk to keep homeless people away

San Francisco’s homeless crisis has prompted a group of residents to place nearly two dozen boulders along a sidewalk to keep people from camping outside their homes. 

The boulder barrier now sits along a half-block stretch of sidewalk on Clinton Park in the Mission Dolores neighborhood. 

David Smith, who lives in the area, complained that homeless people will ‘shoot up and stay overnight’.

‘A bunch of my neighbors, we all chipped in a few hundred dollars and I guess this is what they came up with,’ Smith told KTVU. 

 

San Francisco’s homeless crisis has prompted a group of residents to place nearly two dozen boulders (pictured) along a sidewalk to keep people from camping outside their homes

The boulder barrier now sits along a half-block stretch of sidewalk on Clinton Park in the Mission Dolores neighborhood

The boulder barrier now sits along a half-block stretch of sidewalk on Clinton Park in the Mission Dolores neighborhood

David Smith (pictured), who lives in the area, complained that homeless people will 'shoot up and stay overnight'

David Smith (pictured), who lives in the area, complained that homeless people will ‘shoot up and stay overnight’

Neighbor, Ernesto Jerez, claimed that the rocks have ‘helped’ keep homeless people away. 

‘It’s something. We’ve got to do something. I feel like there is nothing being done,’ he told the station. 

Though residents of the Mission Dolores neighborhood believe that they have found a solution to a problem, advocates have called their idea cruel.

‘There’s actually a name for it. It’s called anti-homeless architecture,’ Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the Coalition On Homelessness, told KTVU.

A spokeswoman for the San Francisco Public Works department said the city had nothing to do with the placement of the boulders and they have no plans to move them because they aren’t blocking the sidewalk. 

San Francisco has long struggled with problems of human waste and needles on the streets in the Tenderloin district, where many addicts and homeless people are found. 

Neighbor, Ernesto Jerez (pictured), claimed that the rocks have 'helped' keep homeless people away

Neighbor, Ernesto Jerez (pictured), claimed that the rocks have ‘helped’ keep homeless people away

San Francisco's homeless crisis has prompted a group of residents to place nearly two dozen boulders along a sidewalk to keep people from camping outside their homes

San Francisco’s homeless crisis has prompted a group of residents to place nearly two dozen boulders along a sidewalk to keep people from camping outside their homes

Mayor London Breed said the city is fighting homelessness by adding 1,000 beds to shelters and wants to pass a $600million bond to build affordable housing and increase services for people with addiction and mental illness

Mayor London Breed said the city is fighting homelessness by adding 1,000 beds to shelters and wants to pass a $600million bond to build affordable housing and increase services for people with addiction and mental illness

The city set up public toilets and last year announced formation of a special six-person ‘poop patrol’ team to clean up the human waste.

San Francisco also announced funding to hire people to pick up used needles.

Last week, President Donald Trump threatened to unleash the Environmental Protection Agency on the city after a California visit during which he blamed the homelessness crisis on ‘liberal’ policies.

Trump accused the city of allowing a tremendous amount of waste, including needles, to go through storm drains into the ocean.

‘It’s a terrible situation that’s in Los Angeles and in San Francisco,’ Trump told reporters on Air Force One as he returned to Washington.

‘And we’re going to be giving San Francisco — they’re in total violation — we’re going to be giving them a notice very soon. They have to clean it up. We can’t have our cities going to hell,’ he said.

In a statement, Mayor London Breed called Trump’s remarks ‘ridiculous’ and said storm drain debris is filtered out at city wastewater treatment plants so that none flows ‘into the bay or ocean’.

Many of those needles came from the city itself. The health department hands out an estimated 400,000 clean syringes a month under programs designed to reduce the risk of HIV and other infections for drug users who might otherwise share contaminated needles.

In her statement, Breed said the city is fighting homelessness by adding 1,000 beds to shelters and wants to pass a $600million bond to build affordable housing and increase services for people with addiction and mental illness.

Trump, whose two-day fundraising visit to California ended last Wednesday, has been bashing California’s ‘liberal establishment’ for the surge in homelessness.

Donald Trump said the Environmental Protection Agency will be 'putting out a notice' of violations in San Francisco over its homelessness crisis that's sending waste - including needles - into storm drains and into the ocean

Donald Trump said the Environmental Protection Agency will be ‘putting out a notice’ of violations in San Francisco over its homelessness crisis that’s sending waste – including needles – into storm drains and into the ocean

San Francisco has seen its homeless population swell to 8,011 people in January 2019, a 17 per cent increase from 2017

San Francisco has seen its homeless population swell to 8,011 people in January 2019, a 17 per cent increase from 2017

The president said his administration ‘can’t let Los Angeles, San Francisco and numerous other cities destroy themselves by allowing what’s happening’ and vowed to do something about the problem. 

A day earlier, Gov Gavin Newsom and mayors of the state’s 13 largest cities sent Trump a letter asking his administration to provide more aid to fight homelessness, including an additional 50,000 housing vouchers for the poor.

But Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson rejected the housing aid request in a letter, saying that California’s policies on law enforcement, an overregulated housing market and sanctuary policies regarding people living in the country illegally have driven up housing costs while increasing demand.

‘Your letter seeks more federal dollars for California from hardworking American taxpayers but fails to admit that your state and local policies have played a major role in creating the current crisis,’ Carson wrote.

Carson said nearly 500,000 California households already receive some kind of federal housing assistance and said ‘federal taxpayers are clearly doing their part to help solve the crisis’.

Last week, Gov Gavin Newsom and mayors of the state's 13 largest cities sent Trump a letter asking his administration to provide more aid to fight homelessness. But Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson (pictured) rejected the housing aid request in a letter

Last week, Gov Gavin Newsom and mayors of the state’s 13 largest cities sent Trump a letter asking his administration to provide more aid to fight homelessness. But Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson (pictured) rejected the housing aid request in a letter

With close to 60,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County, tents are clustered on sidewalks throughout the city, in vacant lots and under highway bridges. The state's other metropolitan areas have similar situations

With close to 60,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County, tents are clustered on sidewalks throughout the city, in vacant lots and under highway bridges. The state’s other metropolitan areas have similar situations

He also said ending homelessness has been a ‘top priority’ of the administration.

On Wednesday, Carson toured a Skid Row shelter in Los Angeles and called for cooperation among federal, state and local governments. But he was noncommittal about what he could offer, saying the administration was considering all options, including re-using vacant federal buildings for shelters.

Before more money is spent, Carson said there needs to be more effective use of available housing vouchers. Many of those, including 35 per cent designated for veterans, are not being used, he said.

Carson targeted some of the main hurdles to providing more housing: myriad regulations and opposition from people who don’t want poor people living nearby. He said his agency might offer grant preferences to cities that try to remove those barriers to affordable housing.

With close to 60,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County, tents are clustered on sidewalks throughout the city, in vacant lots and under highway bridges. The state’s other metropolitan areas have similar situations.

Courts have limited what cities can do to clean up encampments.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to join an effort to get the US Supreme Court to review a decision that restricts efforts to bar homeless people from sleeping on sidewalks in Western states.

The board voted 3-2 to file a motion supporting Boise, Idaho, in its efforts to overturn a ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals that said it was unconstitutional to arrest or otherwise sanction homeless people who sleep on sidewalks when there aren’t enough shelter beds.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas voted in favor, saying he was fed up.

‘The status quo is untenable,’ he said. ‘We need to call this what it is — a state of emergency,’ Ridley-Thomas said in a statement.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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