Praveen Mandan recently made an excellent comment about how all homelessness in San Francisco has been turned into a public safety crisis when it should not be. Other countries around the world that have major metropolitan areas also have needs to work community to community with homeless, “traveller”, or Roma culture . However, their nod towards this problem is much different than the one orchestrated around recent elections in San Francisco.
Although local authorities have talked about gutter punks in Buena Vista Park, little has been done to help that community provide an explanation for their culture. Despite accusations that this is about public safety, little evidence has been produced to show the number of violent crimes this group is creating.
According to Richard Magary of the Buena Vista Neighborhood Association, Prop L is “aimed at people who are disrespectful, aggressive and go way beyond the general norms of civility by blocking the public spaces that belong to everyone and should be able to be used by everyone.”
However, other neighborhoods have a much more negative tone toward the homeless. We need to be careful as a neighborhood that we do not step beyond the boundaries of human civility behind the scenes or in public relations for ethical and legal reasons. While we might want change with the homeless population, we need to keep human rights and respect in mind.
Of course, the main thing we need to worry about with all of this tension is people taking out their frustration on the local homeless population. If you suspect that a homeless person in the neighborhood has been the victim of a hate crime or is being physically or verbally abused, please call 911 immediately. Most likely, they do not have phone.