On November 17, Supervisor Dean Preston announced via Instagram that the City is recommending that the sanctioned tent site at 730 Stanyan be extended until March 2021. This announcement comes despite Supervisor Preston repeatedly assuring the community that the site would be open for a limited 3–6 month time period — November is the end of the six-month term. By comparison, the City honored its time commitment when closing the Castro tent site (source) and recently announced that it’s closing a tent site in the Tenderloin (source). Why then is 730 Stanyan remaining open?
A virtual community meeting will be held on Monday, November 23 at 7:00pm to discuss this matter, and residents can click here to register. Questions should be emailed in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the tent site opened at the end of May, the area immediately outside the site has been a constant and major source of public health and safety issues for the Upper Haight community. The past six months have seen an explosion of tents on the sidewalks surrounding the site, which at times has also extended to the blocks in the broader area. Further, the neighborhood has experienced several high-profile health and safety incidents since the site opened, such as multiple occurrences of overdoses (source) and street brawls (source).
Here are just a few of the incidents from the past 30 days in the area immediately outside the tent site:
While Supervisor Preston has repeatedly declared the site a “huge success,” neighbors who live near the site have described a much different experience and have been forced to form a neighborhood watch program due to the City’s failure to provide adequate support (source). For example, one neighbor who reached out to Supervisor Preston for help regarding problems with campers was encouraged to “introduce yourself” and “be a good neighbor: offer cash, a sandwich, a new pair of socks” (source).
The rationale for extending the site is that the City does “not yet have alternate destinations for all of the residents,” per Supervisor Preston. We find it extremely frustrating that with the largest homeless budget in City history and knowing for 6 months that the site’s end date was approaching, the City still could not find shelter for approximately 40 unhoused people. Additionally, the site had 11 vacant spots as of mid-October, yet continued to admit new campers. If the site was supposed to be winding down, why was it admitting new people as its closure date approached?
What can you do? We encourage residents to attend a virtual community meeting on Monday, November 23 at 7:00pm to give feedback on 730 Stanyan and ask questions. (Click Here to register). Questions should be emailed in advance to email@example.com.