A proposal to permit San Francisco’s homeless to live in tents in the city’s parks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic is sparking controversy.
An emergency ordinance proposed earlier this month, would require the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department to submit a list of city properties to potentially host homeless tent encampments, according to CNN.
The city has previously opened up other areas for the homeless and has secured 2,000 hotel rooms to house those without shelter.
But the park proposal has met with strong opposition
One of those opposing the use of city parks is Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who is a former mayor of San Francisco, the news network noted.
"San Francisco has numerous options to deal with the critical shortage of safe shelter: continuing the mayor's hotel program, enforcing social distancing and healthy conduct in group housing and shelters, and expanding the RV programs and temporary shelters," Feinstein said in a letter to the city.
"This could include tents on unused parking lots and closed schoolyards, as well as public facilities such as the Cow Palace and port property.
But Andy Lynch, a spokesman for Mayor London Breed, noted: "Due to COVID-19, many of the ways that the city normally helps people out of homelessness have had to be severely scaled back. Our shelter capacity has had to be reduced by 76% to allow for physically distancing.”
Meanwhile, a report by KTVU in early May, noted the San Francisco Department of Public Health was providing homeless people with alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana during the pandemic.
Jeffrey Rodack ✉
Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.
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