Subject: Right to Camp
Just wanted to say that I don’t know why you couldn’t try to work w/ Avalos to tweak his proposal. Certainly giving 15 day notice is something you would agree to – I hope. Also, providing more toilets and washing facilities for folks living on the street is necessary. There’s certainly no evidence that folks are less likely to move indoors or disappear if we deprive them of such facilities. The only tricky part if ensuring a permanent housing plan for each person. But there should be something, even if it includes some type of transitional housing up front. Otherwise, destroying camps means folks just move somewhere else, losing their belongings in the process. Something has to be done to incentiveize SF’s elected officials to find better solutions to the homeless crisis. Having camps in our faces reminds the public to put pressure on the mayor and BOS to find better housing solutions. You’ve forgotten it but Camp Agnos, for all its faults, truly put the homeless crisis on the map because people couldn’t ignore it any longer. By sweeping homeless folks out of sight, they are ‘out of mind’ as happened in NYC when Bloomberg simply herded everyone into the worst sections of the Bronx, thereby cleaning up Times Sq. so New Yorkers thought the homeless ‘problem’ had been solved. Regulate where camps are allowed so they’re the least disruptive of other people’s lives but don’t get rid of them altogether when there are no other options for hundreds of folks.
Stephen BinghamFiled under: Letters to the Editor