San Francisco Homelessness Crisis Escalates, Politicians Pass the Buck

Andrew Loy begs along a sidewalk in downtown San Francisco on June, 28, 2016. Homelessness is on the rise in the city, which has some of the highest housing costs in the nation.
Josh Edelson / AFP/Getty Images

San Francisco’s struggle to address its overwhelming homelessness problem is growing ever more dire, and residents don’t know what to do.

Last week a homeless man by the name of Austin Vincent attacked 26-year-old Paneez Kosarian just outside her condo. He claimed he would save her from “robots,” and offered to kill someone else to secure her trust. Against the objections of the District Attorney, Superior Court Judge Christine Van Aken released him. On Monday, Vincent was arrested for another assault.

City officials have watched the problem escalate by 17% in the last two years alone. Hundreds of millions of dollars are supposedly being poured into resolving the issue, but it continues to worsen. Authorities blame big business, accusing tech companies such as Twitter of causing housing prices to skyrocket with a deluge of high-paying jobs.

Bay Area Rapid Transit worker Jose told Fox News that he is worried about precisely that. “What’s happening is that they are building too many condominiums and kicking the people out,” he said. “I’m lucky they haven’t kicked me out yet.”

“It’s impossible to buy a home here,” another resident told Fox News. “You’ve got these ridiculous housing prices, crime and these people crapping on the streets. Why would anyone want to stay?”

Former mayoral candidate Richie Greenberg agreed, calling out 2014’s Proposition 47 as a major problem for the city. The bill reduced some non-violent felonies to misdemeanors, with the aim of freeing law enforcement to pursue more serious crimes.

“The goal was to be more helpful to society, helpful to the homeless issue, helpful to the police department and the court system. But as we saw, it’s a total failure at this point,” Greenberg said, continuing:

The intention was to help, of course, but what it really wound up doing is that it made San Francisco more attractive to those who are both homeless and those who are drug addicts to move here. We are now finding that homelessness is increasing. Drug addiction is increasing and the number of people here — the numbers are increasing, as well.

Meanwhile, residents such as Anna Suarez are packing their bags. “The city is running out of strategies,” Suarez told Fox. “I’m moving to Austin.”

President Donald Trump has leveled hard criticism at California leadership this month. “Conditions in Nancy Pelosi’s once-great city of San Francisco are deplorable,” he said. “They’re deplorable. Do you remember the word ‘deplorable?'”

“Democrat lawmakers care more about illegal aliens than they care about their own constituents,” he said.

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