“A city of tents” – that is how a local government official chose to describe San Francisco, fuelling a bitter divide in a city that is dealing with a mounting number of homeless people. Scott Wiener, who is on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, is determined to close down the tents for homeless people on the city pavements. Homeless charities, however, say these inhabitants have nowhere else to go.
In a Medium blog, Mr Wiener said: “Permitting these encampments is neither humane nor progressive.” He said the tents are a sign of the city’s failure to deal with homelessness, mental illness and drug addiction and as a result San Francisco is facing from “bizarre and aggressive behaviour, syringes and feces strewn all over, and other behaviors that degrade our community’s quality of life.”
Mr Wiener elaborated that the tents might provide government with less motivation to provide an permanent housing. The occupants must be moved into shelters now, he said. “Occupants of the tents have been assaulted in the tents. Predatory drug dealers are drawn to the tents and victimize the occupants,” he added in the Medium post.
His letter to authorities on the subject in January prompted a negative response from homeless charities, who called his opinions “cruel” and “mean.”
And yet, even San Francisco — once the beautiful city in America — has finally come to its senses:
San Francisco health officials declared a tent city that has been growing along a city street a health hazard and gave homeless people living on the sidewalk 72 hours to clear the area.
The Department of Public Health said notices declaring the area along Division Street a public nuisance and encouraging homeless people to move to city shelters would be posted Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, conditions where multiple tents are congregated have become unsafe,” said Barbara A. Garcia, the department’s director of health. “People are living without access to running water, bathrooms, trash disposal or safe heating or cooking facilities.”
An inspection found that people in tents along Division Street between South Van Ness Avenue and 11th Street are living among garbage, human feces, hypodermic needles, urine and other unsanitary conditions, the department said.
How about that? But this is what “progressivism” always comes to: hell on earth. Alas, it seems to be a lesson that needs to be relearned every generation or two.