Should San Francisco ban tent encampments? | The Tylt
An initiative to ban tent encampments from the city of San Francisco was placed on the November ballot by San Francisco city supervisor Mark Farrell. If passed, the law would give the city authority to seize homeless property after giving 24 hours notice and offering alternative housing options—including transportation out of San Francisco to be connected to housing services elsewhere.
Is banning tent encampments a real solution to homelessness?
There's no denying that homelessness and housing is a huge issue in San Francisco.
Critics say that on a very basic level, this criminalizes homelessness. Yes, tent encampments are an issue. Yes, homelessness and housing are complex problems without easy solutions. But this is another case of making homelessness illegal and that’s just cruel. Furthermore critics are saying that Farrell is using this as a wedge issue among voters because this is a reelection year. He faces a contested election and may be using this issue to secure his position.
Supervisor John Avalos told the San Francisco Chronicle:
There are not enough shelter beds for all the people living in encampments,” Avalos said. “We all know it. So why this legislation? It’s a fallacy, and they are just politicizing the ballot in a desperate move to give moderates some issue to campaign on in November.
Supporters say that something has to be done to address the issue of homelessness. Tent encampments are no way to live and have the potential to cause major public health problems. The least we can do is to help people connect with services, whether it be here in the city or elsewhere. At some point, San Francisco has to confront the problem that tent encampments are creating in the city. This is at least an attempt at a solution.
In a press release, Farrell said:
It is not compassionate to allow human beings to live in tents on our streets – it is both dangerous and unhealthy. … The answer to homelessness is housing, not tents. The City of Saint Francis needs to do everything in our power to get the homeless into housing and out of these encampments.
What do you think? Should San Francisco #ClearOutTents or #LetTentsStay
Should San Francisco ban tent encampments?
The homeless camps in the Bay Area are noticeably growing in size. More are popping up, too.— Kurt (@kurtastic) June 24, 2016
soooo SF doesn't want the homeless to camp on the streets but does nothing about absurdly high rents forcing ppl out of their homes. TF?!— Marrion Johnson (@MJohn_88) June 23, 2016