An editorial in last Monday’s Wall Street Journal explains the astonishing homelessness problem in San Francisco.
“California has spent more than $20 billion on housing for the homeless since 2020, yet public encampments continue to grow. As San Francisco progressives are learning, government can build more shelter, but that doesn’t mean the homeless will use them.”
“The city of San Francisco released data last week showing that 55% of homeless individuals rejected shelter when offered it. Mayor London Breed threw her hands up in response. ‘We can’t force people to accept or stay in shelters and we’re unable to prevent people from setting up an encampment in an area that was just cleaned.’ she tweeted Wednesday."
“San Francisco is under a federal injunction that bars officials from enforcing laws against camping or sleeping in public spaces as long as its homeless population exceeds available shelter beds. … The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment creates a right to vagrancy.
“… a particular problem is San Francisco’s refusal to prosecute drug crimes. In 2014 California’s Proposition 47, which was backed by Gov. Gavin Newsom and other progressives, effectively decriminalized drug use and shoplifting. Localities can’t use the threat of jail to induce addicts to receive treatment.”
If anyone has a solution to this problem, San Francisco’s Mayor Breed needs to hear about it.