San Francisco’s homelessness epidemic/AP Photo (Bethany Blankley, The Center Square ) The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing has requested an additional $20 million from the city of San Francisco to keep six Safe Sleeping Village encampments running for another two years.
The encampments are comprised of tents spaced six feet apart on concrete within a white painted square box on the ground. The encampment is enclosed by portable barriers where along one wall are air-conditioned trailers with showers and portable toilets.
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The funding request comes after the city spent $18.2 million to fund 260 tents on six sites, costing taxpayers $60,000 per tent per year. Little-to-none of the money has gone to find permanent housing or toward finding a long-term alternative.
Funding for the six encampments pays for the costs of the tents, providing three meals a day, 24-hour security and maintaining bathrooms and showers.
The department is asking the city to allocate an additional $15 million for the upcoming fiscal year for a similar number of tents, costing taxpayers roughly $57,000 per tent per year.
The sites were created in May 2020, two months into the state’s lockdown, as a way to keep homeless individuals off of the sidewalks.
At a recent meeting, Supervisor Ahsha Safai questioned the $20 million request, suggesting it was an exorbitant amount to continue to fund what was supposed to be a temporary solution.Supervisor Hillary Ronen said the cost “just doesn’t make any sense.”Proposition C, a 2018 business tax passed by voters to collect money for homeless services, […]