Hans Hansson | September 23, 2018
As a critic of the direction that our city has taken in solving homelessness and how we take care of cleaning our streets, I have to commend our new Mayor, London Breed, for taking immediate action in her new role.
As a city that has struggled with a large homeless population for decades, it has become a crisis– according to the SF Chronicle, in 2016 we spent (including housing and treatment) around $241 million annually, yet we see more and more homeless on the streets than ever before. However, much of this spending is focused on housing the formerly homeless, or those at risk, and not the currently homeless.
Working in the commercial real estate industry, I have personally seen the unfortunate outcomes of the homeless population, including streets covered in feces, urine-filled air, garbage everywhere, tent communities taking up entire blocks of sidewalks, or in the entry ways of properties I sell, and more. In addition to high costs of rent and labor, our city’s dirty streets and potential health hazards are making alternative Bay Area cities more attractive for businesses to take their headquarters.
I walk the streets every single day as I tour my clients and I have seen Mayor Breed’s intentions turned to action in the short time that she’s taken over leadership. During my morning walk up Powell Street at 6:30 am, I now see cleaning crews busy removing debris. As I continue my routine walk down Sutter Street at 9:00 am, there’s usually a few homeless people that will block entryways of buildings while harassing visitors in and out of the Hyatt hotel. I’ve witnessed these cleaning crews ask them to leave and clean the properties.
Although this isn’t a resolution, more of a band-aid, I am pleased to see our Mayor do SOMETHING to help. It’s more than I’ve seen in years.
In a recent press release, Mayor Breed signed a two-year budget of $11 billion to target homeless solutions. She shared, “I’m proud of our investments to reduce street homelessness, champion public safety for all citizens, clean our streets and parks, and keep our commitment to the residents of San Francisco.”
We of course have a long way to go, but I applaud Mayor Breed for tackling these problems day one on the job! They are definitely needed and appreciated.Photo Credit: Aidan_S Flickr via Compfight cc
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