Evicted from your un-home?

As Mark Pritchard noted in his entry We’re Rich, social service workers have begun sweeping Golden Gate Park and informing the “inhabitants” there that they must move on. The SF Gate reports today that this endeavor is “part of a new push by Mayor Gavin Newsom to make Golden Gate Park more like New York’s Central Park, with its immaculate opens spaces and low crime rate. The endeavor is the latest development in Newsom’s attempt to tackle San Francisco’s homeless problem, which began with his Care Not Cash homeless-welfare reform initiative before he became mayor.”


I wonder, though, how is this tackling the homeless issue? It reminds me of living in Seattle when the city leaders would push the homeless and drug addicts from one part of the city to another in a sort of underclass game of musical chairs. No problems were solved, just relocated.

I work downtown where we have no shortage of homeless. One particular gentleman often catches my eye. He wears a blanket, is covered in grime, and often stands outside the Starbucks near Second and Mission. His pose is reminiscent of Jesus; he is obviously mad. And I want to know why someone, some organization does not help him. In this city of million dollar flats and billionaire venture capitalists, can we not take care of the most helpless among us? Or do we need this scapegoat? Is there another agenda at work?

And, should I find it odd that the SF Gate chose to highlight this in its photos?


Are drugs (and stolen bikes also pictured in the story) the motivation for moving these people out of the park? Or, is this a convenient reason to grasp hold of?

These men and women will have to go someplace. Simply asking (telling) them to leave the park won’t make homelessness go away. It will displace it, and we may yet have our Central Park West. But, when people begin camping out on Union Street or curled up in the doorway of Whole Foods, we may have to rethink our methods for dealing with this issue.

7 Comments so far

  1. sfmike (unregistered) on September 30th, 2006 @ 8:16 pm

    This is just cruel. Our alcoholic, stimulant-loving mayor is simply a jerk. It’s time to stop him now.

  2. Sorry You Don't Get It (unregistered) on September 30th, 2006 @ 10:34 pm

    Your bleeding heart is choking your brain…

    I love how your enlightened mind thinks some sort of “someone” or “organization” should help all the street people… but, just not you, ’cause you are on your way to work for the man… so you can pay your over priced rent…

    do you realy think that the photo of the syringes was staged for your amusement…

    maybe you’d rather see a pile of human shit, or a bunch of fast food wrappers with blood on em…

    look face it, some people really are just lazy freeloading scalawags with no interest in doing anything but popping gak into their veins… and they’ll gladly hassle you on your way to work or maybe cowardly break into your car rather than work for their next handful of change…

    but you and your ilk would rather deride a mayor who is just doing the job he was elected to do…

  3. cd (unregistered) on September 30th, 2006 @ 10:45 pm

    To take a more moderate tack here – one probably closer to truth and practical solutions:

    The reason the man you see may not be helped could be due to his own free will. That is to say, it’s hard for social services to keep some of the people who need it most in their care. It takes a tremendous amount (and is frequently impossible) to commit someone against his/her will. Combine with that a statewide desparate lack of mental health care professionals and facilities and, well, it’s not a pretty picture.

    As for the park residents – the Chronicle articles do highlight the different types of park residents. Some of them are there because they have nowhere else to go. It’s a lot harder to feel sad, however, about those who choose to live there because it’s cool or cheap or earthy, or the kids from Seattle or suburbia who want to pan handle in the Height to support their affected bohemian lifestyle – well, they need to move on and stop insulting the true have-nots.

    I have a feeling those with legitimate housing options are more likely to steal bikes and leave needles lying around. Moving them along is fine with me.

  4. Tironius (unregistered) on October 1st, 2006 @ 1:30 am

    Two out of three comments were spot-on. One of the problems, perhaps, is that the only people who blog are the liberals. Liberals are all theory and no practicality.

    It amazes me that so many fucking syringes could come out of the public park, and this blogger feels the need to harp on the choice to use it as a picture, as if–get this–it is an unfair portrait of these innocent people. It makes me angry to no end when people think they can live outside the rules of society and people like this blogger both expect and promote it.

  5. Todd X (unregistered) on October 1st, 2006 @ 11:48 am

    Yes, I definitely promote drug use of all kinds. Please. I merely meant to highlight the fact that, out or 5-6 photos, the Gate chose to focus on syringes and bikes rather than explore the issue of homelessness.

    Bleeding heart? Hardly. Concerned that we may be treating the symptoms and not the disease? Yes.

  6. pissedoffliberal (unregistered) on October 1st, 2006 @ 7:58 pm

    Tironius: Allow me to express my deepest gratitude for sharing you wisdom with us benighted liberals. Truly, the author of such an august organ of conservative thought as “The Asian Pussy Pounders” is a voice to whom all should listen.

  7. Sorry You Don't Get It (unregistered) on October 1st, 2006 @ 10:12 pm

    Hey I’m back

    and I would like to ad that many of the bikes you see in the Chronicle expose’ are also stolen…

    I was a homeless dirtbag gypsy acid head kid from somewhere else once, but couldn’t hack the drag of living in the park for very long much less thieving like those other smelly a-holes around me, …

    So I eventually moved on, after leaching off the soup kitchens, city & state aid programs for a spell, I actually went and got a job…

    something that most of these people will never do…

    they’d rather just have you dripwads feel sorry for them

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