SAN FRANCISCO—Permanent homeless encampments have become a regular fixture in San Francisco, a city that has adopted the policy of cleaning them up.
Public work crews and Caltrans teams have set to the task of cleaning the encampments, picking up tons of garbage on a daily basis, and purging the surrounding area of hazardous waste such as hypodermic needles.
Instead of being regularly cleared-out by police, the local homeless population is politely asked to accommodate the clean-up efforts, which the city dedicates nearly $3 million to annually.
These cleaning projects are not only aimed to sanitize the homeless encampments, but also to ensure that city streets are safe and passable for everyday users.
The newest project aimed specifically to help the homeless is a center approved by Mayor Edward M. Lee that includes 75 beds, placed specifically for street campers in need of a place to rest for the night.
San Francisco has homeless population estimated at 6,436, nearly a third of whom live in a state of perpetual homelessness.