Leftists are still doubling down in San Francisco, putting up the homeless in hotels that are full of filth, violence, and overdose deaths, with many of the rooms remaining vacant, highlighting the incompetence and corruption of the nonprofits the city pays to keep the buildings maintained.
In some of the hotels, up to half of the rooms are reportedly unoccupied, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. Many of these hotels were put in place during the pandemic but the homeless problem has not been reduced or resolved in the least since that emergency has passed. In fact, it’s reportedly gotten worse.
Although The San Francisco Chronicle blames the problem on the mayor’s referral process in the city, it looks as though there are a number of factors playing into the deplorable situation. There are demonstrable problems with the tenants themselves as well as the nonprofits maintaining the premises.
“Emails and records obtained by The Chronicle show that, on average, about 990 supportive housing units in San Francisco were unoccupied last year — 10% of the city’s housing stock for its homeless population…” the media outlet reported.
San Francisco's homeless hotels beset by health violations, violence and overdose deaths. (And who could have predicted that?)
— George L. Duncan (@GeorgeLDuncan) April 28, 2023
“The units remained unfilled because of a few chief factors, reporters found in a new investigation. About 60% were empty due to a slow and convoluted referral process operated by Mayor London Breed’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH), and because approved tenants were still gathering paperwork to move in or had declined a placement offered by the agency,” the San Francisco Chronicle contained.
“The other 40% of rooms were offline and unavailable, mostly because they were uninhabitable — dirty, in disrepair, or sealed shut by the city medical examiner after someone had died inside. Nonprofit housing providers, responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the units, have failed to stay on top of much-needed cleaning and repairs at some SROs,” it added.
That indicates that filth and violence are significant factors in the problem. It’s so bad that not even the chronically homeless want to stay there.
One homeless individual residing at a city Navigation Center told the Chronicle, “I’d rather stay in a tent than go to an SRO.”
I managed properties in San Francisco 20+ years, lived middle of Tenderloin. Until you talk to homeless, theories useless. SF County too small to house everyone who wants to be there. Hotels are currently utilized, & big budget for that. Most people move, some prefer the streets.
— Romulus (@SueRomulus) April 24, 2023
Another transient also spoke out about the horrific conditions.
“‘This building is a toilet,’ said Raiford Houston, a tenant at the Seneca Hotel on Sixth Street, which is managed by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic. The SRO had nearly two dozen vacant units in December, most of them due to maintenance or janitorial issues, records show…” The Chronicle noted.
“Reporters found that many buildings are beset by housing or health code violations and violence, and a steady procession of overdose deaths traumatized tenants and staff members…” the media outlet stated.
“Prior investigations by The Chronicle found that nonprofit operators who neglect their properties face few, if any, repercussions from HSH. The result is rampant disrepair in many SROs, making the buildings undesirable to prospective tenants. Documents and interviews show that unreliable bathrooms forced people with disabilities to use portable toilets inside their rooms; pest infestations became so bad that residents fled their units; and leaky pipes spread mold and mildew, causing ceilings to collapse,” the outlet reported.
You know there’s a serious issue when someone who is homeless with nothing to lose refuses to stay at a hotel because of the conditions there. When it’s worse than living on the streets, it’s not fit for human occupation.
Most SRO SH tenants want to live in real apartments, and are older, disabled populationswhose lives depend on access to private and functioning amenities. If you talk to us, many of us would almost rather live on the street than live in a place like, say, The Seneca Hotel… pic.twitter.com/p8EdtDWHYc
— The San Francisco Homeless Tenants Union (@SFHTUnion) April 26, 2023
“Even when HSH did get prospective tenants slotted into the building, many turned the placement down. After touring the Aarti, these people said they would prefer to remain homeless or in transitional housing,” The Chronicle said.
Perhaps it would be a simplistic solution, but the homeless could be put to work and provided shelter and food in exchange. Those that are mentally ill could be put in facilities where they can be taken care of and those that are addicts should be given a choice… either get clean and go to work or face consequences for not doing so.
Fatal overdoses in San Francisco killed dozens more people in the first three months of 2023 compared with the same period last year, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. Instead of dropping, deaths are rising, and efforts to help the homeless are feeding into that, not helping it.
Two hundred people died from accidental drug overdoses between January and March, medical examiner data shows. The vast majority of deaths involved fentanyl. That reflects a nearly 41% increase from the 142 deaths reported for the first three months last year.
“That’s an enormous rise,” Dr. Daniel Ciccarone, a professor of family and community medicine at UCSF, remarked according to The Chronicle. “And it shows an utter lack of adequate public policy.”
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