"You're too compassionate. We're at war with the homeless."

Scathing allegations against Mayor Breed and city in lawsuit filed over treatment of the homeless:

Former San Francisco employees, including a director who worked with the homeless, allege that the city routinely cleared encampments while knowing there were not enough shelter beds available, according to new testimony filed in court Friday. [...]

In Friday's filings, Marshall said they were explicitly directed by the former head of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, Jeff Kositsky, to forcibly move unhoused people and destroy their property without taking the time to inquire about their needs.

The city cleared encampments in response to "daily mandates" by Mayor London Breed, Marshall stated: "Mayor Breed ordered us to carry out sweeps because she did not want to be seen near unhoused people while she was at lunch, at the gym, at fundraisers, or at meetings on public business." [...]

Marshall also suggested the method the department used to track shelter refusal was misleading. The Homelessness and Outreach Team would warn unhoused folks that the police were coming without taking steps to offer shelter, Marshall alleged. Despite the lack of offers, they wrote, the city recorded those individuals as having "refused" shelter, which Marshall called an "inaccurate and blatant attempt to work around the City's stated requirements for enforcement." [...]

When Public Works removes an encampment, staff are supposed to collect and log unhoused residents' belongings to be retrieved later [but they] often threw away residents' items altogether, due to a lack of time to sort out trash from belongings. "I have seen DPW workers throw away entire tents," Malone stated.

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6 Responses:

  1. davel says:

    I guess the city’s never going to really address homelessness until we pass a ballot measure making sleeping on the street a human right. If the didn’t have the power to clear encampments, at least then they’d be forced to consider different options.

    • Michael says:

      That may not help. Here in Canada the Supreme Court ruled that people can camp over night in city parks. This has not prevented politicians here from trying to drive them off.

      Favourite was one of the “suburbs” around here completely cover grass areas in chicken shit to prevent people from setting up tents.

      There are people out there that rather make a public space completely unusable, just as long as they can keep them homeless away.

  2. Duality K. says:

    The longer I've paid attention to the matter, the more clear it is to me that capital not only cannot address shelter, it is antithetical to shelter.  And city leaders, no matter how liberal they profess to be, are beholden to capital, because money talks and nobody has money like real estate moguls and developers.

    We found out as a society that "beg for scraps or starve" has four too many words in it.

  3. apm74 says:

    At least they're not using the murderbots yet.

  4. silberfuchs says:

    this is, quite literally, normal practice in Minneapolis, DC, and many other cities. Including in the past week in Minneapolis on a day when the low temp was < 10 degrees Fahrenheit and there were no shelters spaces open.

    In the place where the folks were, they had regular deliveries of supplies, including and especially firewood/propane/etc. and were doing relatively okay, all things considered. Instead, many of them lost their winter gear with no ability to replace it.

  5. sleepless says:

    Nice to see those text messages of London Breed finally result in the city being held responsible, to at least some degree.

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