It goes without saying that there need to be effective solutions for many of the problems in the neighborhood. However, there is a disturbing amount of focus and emotion put on certain solutions over others. For example, no one denies that crime is high throughout San Francisco. Buena Vista Park, like other parks in San Francisco, has a problem with crime after dark.
However, when citizens organize and go to the local authorities about these problems, the solutions offered have a negative tone. The first phase of the Mayor’s solutions include the Sit/Lie vote against the homeless on the sidewalks. The second phase of this solution is upcoming.
Reports in the SFExaminer detail the work of several San Francisco departments working together to close Golden Gate Park after a certain time. They want to continue these efforts by targeting other parks like Buena Vista. The main reason they are closing the park at night is because so many homeless people live in the park.
Considering the down turned economy, citing San Francisco as a homeless Federal State of Emergency would be a more effective solution to addressing human rights violations in the area than closing parks. Am I comparing the homelessness situation to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? Well, not to be dramatic, but if you look around and read between the lines, there seem to be a lot LESS drug addicts and mental illness in the population. Instead, you see regular people trying to live in their cars, etc.
What does the government think is going to happen to people if they don’t work for a long time, can’t pay their rent, don’t have that many relatives, have poor friends, and are afraid of all the drug addicts in homeless shelters? Or what if they don’t have homeless shelters in their towns?
If the economy didn’t suck so much, it might be one thing. However, waging a war against the homeless is not effective for long term legal and human rights reasons. Finally, with foreclosures left and right, and people losing their jobs, we could all be the next 1 in 5. Perhaps a better name for the homeless is “economic refugees?”