The first temporary sanctioned tent encampment opened this week in San Francisco, California, to give the homeless somewhere to go during the health crisis.
“The move comes as outrage mounts over sidewalks clogged with tents and dire conditions in the Tenderloin amid the coronavirus pandemic,” the San Francisco Examiner reported.
San Francisco has opened its first sanctioned camping site for the homeless, and more are in the works. https://t.co/VFYOAYd7Dp
— SF Examiner (@sfexaminer) May 16, 2020
A recent count by the city found that the number of tents on sidewalks and other public areas had increased by 71 percent citywide and 285 percent in the Tenderloin district since January.
The report continued:
The first designated encampment, or safe sleeping site, is in a fenced-off area on Fulton Street near City Hall and contains roughly 50 tents spaced apart for social distancing, along with a handful of portable toilets, a couple of handwashing stations and 24-hour security. Officials say food, access to showers and cleaning services will also be provided.
Friday, Mayor London Breed announced that the city planned to open a second Safe Sleeping Village at a former McDonald’s lot on Stanyan Street and that other locations were under consideration.
“So we will be moving 40 tents to the site on Stanyan. Supervisor @DeanPreston is working with neighbors on the implementation. This is in addition to the 70 tents at the Civic Center site, and we’re looking for more sites right now,” she wrote on Twitter.
In April, the city canceled plans to move hundreds of homeless people to an indoor convention center space after 70 shelter residents tested positive for the virus, according to Breitbart News.
“San Francisco is also allowing outdoor tents — once viewed purely as a nuisance — to remain in place, at least for the duration of the pandemic, because it is easier to maintain ‘social distancing’ and the virus is harder to transmit outdoors,” the article said.
In March, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson told Breitbart News that the pandemic presented a unique opportunity to address the nation’s homelessness issue.
He said the best solution was to build tent cities on public land where the spread of the disease would be less likely and where people could get help in becoming self-sufficient.
“But if we don’t concentrate on doing that, what we will do is accumulate more and more and more dependent people, and pretty soon the total will be so great we will not be able to handle it,” he concluded.