San Francisco joined other cities in the United States and authorized settlements with tents for homeless people in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a measure that authorities had resisted but now reluctantly adopted to protect that sector. of the population.
About 80 tents were set up on a wide street near the San Francisco City Hall, forming a “safe sleeping village” opened last week. The area between the central library of the city and the Museum of Asian Art is fenced, controlled 24 hours and has food delivery, clean water and garbage collection.
In announcing the initiative and opening another camp in the well-known Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, the city mayor acknowledged that she did not want to approve the tents, but that having them spread uncontrollably on the sidewalks was neither safe nor fair.
San Francisco has moved 1,300 homeless people to hotel rooms and caravans as part of a state program to rehome vulnerable people, but the councilwoman received criticism for acting slowly. She said she was not willing to move the estimated 8,000 homeless people living in the city to hotels despite complaints from activists that the crowded stores are a public health disaster.
San Francisco is the last city in the country to authorize this time of settlements as refuges so that homeless people, who are especially susceptible to contracting the virus due to their poor health, can maintain social distance.