Spoiler: Yes. The city of 900,000 has more rough sleepers / homeless than the country of 65 million.
And I think England has way too many homeless. Don't really see any out where I live (rural town in Hampshire) but I do see a lot of unfortunate ones in the cities.
At least compared to where I grew up where there were very few homeless people https://www.quora.com/Are-there-homeless-people-in-Norway
So while you cannot conclusively say that SF has more rough sleepers than all of England (not Britain) it's not unreasonable to believe so, and either way the actual numbers are probably very close.
Insisting on, which the author clearly does according to a quick googling, firmly supporting and perpetuating an economic system that creates these dystopian features and then calling for their forceful removal, through weasel language, is cynical at best, and evil in practice.
I lived deep inside the homeless prone parts of SF. 99% of the homeless in my neighborhood couldn't hold down a job if they wanted one. I was homeless for a while, and I certainly didn't do that voluntarily. Drugs, inability to afford housing & find a job (my issue), alcoholism, landlords playing games to get people evicted, mental health issues, lack of skills to compete, etc. The list goes on. I'll shut up now before I say what I REALLY think.
Since your governments go ahead and remove people who are trying to live in public spaces, you don't see them, and you assume they don't exist.
From this, I assume you aren’t from the UK and don’t actually have any idea about homelessness here?
[Shelter](https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/homelessness) and [Centrepoint](https://centrepoint.org.uk/) are two of the biggest homeless charities here and they do a lot of work and are closely related with the local councils. Maybe do some research, the provide so much good information.
Please also bear in mind, the local councils have a [legal responsibility](https://www.compactlaw.co.uk/free-legal-information/public-h...) to look after homeless in their borough.
And this is purely anecdotal, but a lot of people I know here care a lot about homeless people. Walk around London and see how often you’ll see people buying a homeless person a coffee or some food.
Whereas in the US, I heard a lot of people say that homelessness is a choice and that they should just stop being homeless. Bewildering.
I don't mean that cynically--just seems like common sense.
It’s by no means peachy, as austerity is making things worse - but it can’t be compared to homelessness in the US where there are barely any social safety nets.
> I guess I should start buying them coffee or some food and things will get back on track.
Comprehension would lend itself well to the context of what I said.
In the royal parks, on the other hand, you'd be right - in the Royal parks putting up tents and the like will get the attention of the police very quickly. There are parts of London outside the parts where the police likes to try to make the problem "disappear" by moving people on, but London's homeless problem is overall very visible.
I hear reports of a used needle problem but haven't seen any myself.
The problem in northern Europe is not so much that the police will move on people in tents as the winters are colder than SF; Norway has zero long-term street homeless because the winter will kill them quickly.
My point regarding hypocrisy is more important long term; you're immoral if you're a supporter of the Arsonist party then demanding to forcefully remove all the wildfire refugees because they're causing inconvenience to the "proper" citizens.
To stereotype the heck out of it:
In the US a homeless person pitches a tent under an overpass and everyone tries their hardest to ignore it.
In Europe a homeless person pitches a tent under an overpass and within the hour the cops show up, rough him up for constructing an unauthorized shelter on the crown's land and then cart him off to a shelter that keeps him a few nights and then sends him on his way with all the support he needs to not be homeless anymore.
>>>Providing the mentally ill with the “liberty” to decompose on the streets is cruelty, not compassion.
The policies employed by Breed’s government misuse resources in a quixotic effort at fighting addiction by providing more means to be addicted. The “need more housing zoning” argument is absurd and employs a fallacious premise that homeless people need to be housed in-situ.
This article provides great relief for residents, homeless folks, and drug-dealing scum.
San Francisco used to enforce these quality of life laws, and things were different. The thing is that San Franciscans didn’t like that world. Sure, people got in trouble for crapping on the sidewalk, but they didn’t have better places to crap.
Instead of creating better places to crap, San Francisco decided not to hassle people for crapping on the sidewalk. I agree that’s a little more compassionate, but it’s not paradise.
As recently as the mid 1970s simply being black or in a homosexual relationship could get you beaten up and thrown in jail. People rejected this arrangement because it was unfair, unreasonable, and extremely expensive. Then the drug war turned the whole nation into a kind of gulag. Go ahead and object to Chinese treatment of minorities, but we have more in jail here.
Neoliberal economists said that if we just lowered taxes enough there would be plenty of opportunity, but modern capitalism runs lean and fires fast. Even basically competent middle aged men can have trouble, so the larger population which includes people of various genders, ages, and capacities is not doing well. Labor markets are as brutal in America now as during the depression. You can't shred labor markets and leave them in tatters and then whine about how society isn't fixing itself like before.
The appeal to dominance and laws and enforcement is a silly delusion that we will have to get over if we ever want to make progress with this problem for real.
Incidentally, the city believes there are roughly the same number of homeless people today as there were back when they enforced quality of life laws: “The sense that homelessness itself is exploding in San Francisco is not reflected in the city’s numbers. According to the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, the city’s homeless population has remained essentially flat in recent years. The agency counted 7,499 people experiencing homelessness in 2017, about 2 percent higher than 2013 levels, and slightly lower than in 2015” ( https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/08/san-franciscos-sidewa... ). They claim that back then, there wasn’t crap on the street because people were crapping in vacant buildings. Now, because of the building boom, there aren’t many vacant buildings.
I’m not saying that hassling people for crapping on the street is the right approach. I understand why San Franciscans by and large rejected it. But it absolutely can be done, because that is what they used to do.
Law enforcement everywhere is about moving crime out to the margins. It will never stamp out all crime, but it does tend to reduce the quantity of it.
And I'm not even convinced that "moving it elsewhere" is necessarily a bad thing. I'd rather have most crime concentrated in a small area than distributing it over a large area. Regardless, people should be allowed to feel safe in their communities, and that just isn't the case for embarrassingly large amounts of SF.
Very simple deductive reasoning actually, I wonder how people did not come up with it yet.
You’re conflating addressing “housing transience” with addressing “addiction, mental illness, and criminal antisocial behavior”. Additional housing units don’t resolve this problem.
> Called Housing First, the Finnish model aggressively closed homeless shelters, calling them traps
The rest of the part you quote is revealing:
"Finland’s experiment in ending rough sleeping has caught the attention of policymakers for one reason: It’s working.
Called Housing First, the Finnish model aggressively closed homeless shelters, calling them traps, and did not require participants battling addictions to recover before receiving keys to a home."
For people choosing to live outside, well it's ok for society to demand they follow the rules like everyone else.
For people who can't afford a place to live, displacing them to somewhere else is the best thing you could do, living in SF requires an absurdly high income, if they move to Montana (or Idaho or honestly throw a dart at a map, the US is cheap if you don't try to live in the top 20 most expensive zipcodes) they could rent an apartment for $500/month, which is $250 if you have a roomate. That's less than one week of work at minimum wage. Lots of my friends are software engineers, and are moving to Oakland because SF is too expensive. So my friends with high paying jobs are expected to move, but someone can set up a tent and they have a human right to stay right where they are? It's ludicrous.
For the people with mental illness or an addiction, which is more than 95% of the people living on the street, what fixes the problem? They can't function in their current state, and it's illegal to force them to take medication, and impossible to make them stop doing drugs. Fine, lets provide them with shelter at least. Lets build the shelter somewhere really cheap, and provide them with free transportation to get there. Maybe the same places I mentioned above, where it would be very inexpensive to provide them with food and shelter, which is basically everywhere besides SF. Of course this is again a non-starter, since no matter what you do, literally anything you do at all to help them, unless they are homeless and living on the sidewalk in San Francisco, people are going to claim it's a violation of their human rights.
this article sounds like a drunken conservative rant
Maybe we need to design our cities and public places in a way that they would be approachable for people living outside?
Why we wouldn't have camping spots in cities with infrastructure that supports living outside?
Because we aren't cavemen anymore.
And a tent is a home, just a shabby, crappy, small one.
>Why we wouldn't have camping spots in cities with infrastructure that supports living outside?
Because people also need to eat and poop and shower somewhere, and be protected from the elements, and once you incorporate all that, you get a hostel/shelter.
I'll take your comment as an opportunity to say this:
Yes, we absolutely should have more infrastructure for the homeless.
Let's have public baths, public toilets, storage facilities, communal kitchens perhaps. Internet access (libraries do that, but that shouldn't be the only place).
Travelers would appreciate many of these as well.
If we could accept the fact that some people want to live on the streets, we would be able to make their life much easier and better without imposing a certain philosophy on how they should be living.
If people don't want to be homeless, we should do everything in our power to help them get into housing, sustainably. But if they do? No thanks, do that somewhere else, where the land can be reasonably and cost-effectively set up to support that. One of the most expensive, highly-regulated real estate markets in the US is not that place.
It's a moving target and it should be moving in a direction of achieving the best outcome for everyone, regardless if they're investment bankers or heroin addicts.
People thinking like you have been trying to stop progress since we got down from the trees. It's this ridiculous idea that how things are now is something that has to be kept and preserved.
It is a disservice to humanity - those ideas never survive history test, just cause better future for everyone to come later than it could.
Wait, aren't you the one arguing people should move back up into the trees? Well, not even the trees, you are just arguing they should live on the ground, and even our primitive primate ancestors weren't stupid enough to want to do that.
There are many people for which the definition of camping specifically excludes those things.
Because we're not animals, and have lived in at least caves since 10.000 years or more...
Also because it's 2019, and there's no excuse.
Maybe you could try some living in "camping spots in cities" in winter, for example?
/adding to the parent sarcasm
The UK and Ireland have the "traveller" community. They are basically non-Roma gypsies, the descendants of nomadic Irish tinkers. Even they do not live in tents. They live in caravans. A few still have the traditional wooden painted horse-drawn ones, although generally those only appear for special occasions like funerals. Mostly it's modern caravans and motorhomes.
There used to be fields provided for them on the edge of towns, but the inevitable social conflicts have caused those to be reduced to almost no provision.
However, homeless people are not considered as population, they're considered as aberration. If we consider them as just another population we need to support with public services, maybe every neighborhood would have facilities for homeless population, like you have facilities for pets owners, parents, as you have parks, bike trails, etc.
Shelters are there. And in shelters they get all they need. How is this different from a campground? The only difference you are talking about is that in campings they would have a tent instead of a roof, unless I am missing something.
Homeless people don't want to go in. They don't want to give up drugs.
How do you think that providing a "camping" playground would solve the problems?
But the point is something else. If it turns out homeless people are assembling under the bridge, redo the bridge to be liveable or create something nearby that would attract them to go and live there. If they're throwing trash around, put people there to collect trash or create an environment where it would be easier to dispose trash in a safe way. Money is beint spent to assimilate homeless people and it's obviously not working.
Don't tell me that a country who put a man on Moon can't deliver sanitary service to millions citizens so they have to shit on the streets?
Edit: I also can't believe that an article on San Francisco homelessness never once mentions zoning laws.
I love this quote:
> The city enables the entire homeless lifestyle, not just drug use. Free food is everywhere.
It's clear the author is happy with their hierarchical position and thinks that those below them ought to die in the streets.