Supervisor Matt Haney visited the city sanctioned homeless camp across the street from San Francisco’s City Hall on Friday. The city has closed off the extra wide street between the Asian Art Museum and the Main Public Library to allow the nonprofit Urban Alchemy to engage and help the homeless population that, according to Haney, would otherwise prefer not to live in a tent.
Gavin Newsom recently announced California plans to use $750 million in federal funding to purchase the hotels and motels that are currently being rented by the state strictly for homeless that are affected by COVID-19. The purchase is being made to allow for expanding the use of these properties to permanently house homeless individuals after the pandemic has subsided.
“The number of people living on sidewalks has exploded over the past 6 weeks, tripling the number of people living on the sidewalks there…People who may be especially vulnerable can be protected, or moved to more appropriate places for care. Folks get regular access to health care, food, showers, bathrooms. The entrance is controlled, people check in and out. They have access to testing. People are safer and healthier now, less likely to get sick or get others sick” – Matt Haney
“But there are still definitely issues. I want to be clear: I continue to believe that the better approach here is to move people into hotels. It’s false that most people here don’t want to go inside. I talked to a bunch of the people staying here, they want to go to hotels. As they said it, “everyone here wants to go inside.” The people I spoke to had been in San Francisco for a while. The sense from the staff here was not that most of these folks had just shown up in the city.” – Matt Haney
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