San Francisco’s homeless crisis may be improving, but the city is still struggling to rehabilitate and deal with the consequences of its 7,400 homeless residents. The very natural need to go the bathroom results in an excess of feces on San Francisco’s streets. To help combat this problem, the city has announced the formation of a “Poop Patrol” that will scour the city for fecal matter, clean it up, and be paid for their efforts.
They're literally making buttloads of money hahahahahah
— Sumanth ⚡ (@SuMastodon) August 24, 2018
The Poop Patrol will comprise five people working through the San Francisco Department of Public Works. With a steamer in hand to clean whatever sidewalks require it, the group will focus most of their efforts on Tenderloin, the neighborhood where almost half of San Francisco’s homeless people live. The city has received over 14,500 calls to 311 regarding poop on the streets.
— RT (@RT_com) August 24, 2018
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that being a member of the Poop Patrol is a fairly lucrative position. Cleaners are entitled to “$71,760 a year, plus an additional $112,918 in benefits, such as healthcare and retirement savings.”
Should we quit our day jobs? https://t.co/p6hdSXXatF
— Chicks On The Right (@chicksonright) August 25, 2018
The issue has served as a reminder of San Francisco’s affordable housing crisis, which has pushed the wealthy further from those in need.
According to Business Insider:
…a San Francisco resident earns about $96,677 a year, nearly double the median household income in the US.
When less than 5% of homes for sale are affordable to median income Hispanic & African American families in Denver, Phoenix, San Diego, LA, San Francisco, & Portland, we let residential segregation and all its inequities poison our fastest growing metro areas.
— Richard Dien Winfield (@WinfieldForUS) August 21, 2018
Though the fecal problem is focused in Tenderloin, residents from around the city have begun complaining more and more about the issue as homeless populations are displaced into their neighborhoods. Mayor London Breed, “who campaigned on street-cleanup efforts,” makes frequent unannounced walks through the city to observe the state of things.
The mayor reports that she is “encountering more feces on the city streets than ever before.”
According to San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who came up with the idea alongside Nuru, the newly-minted Poop Patrol will rely on data from past poop reports to target, uh, high-volume areas. https://t.co/kXdkGciwc8
— VG(BK) ♐ (@SpideyNYC82) August 19, 2018
The city hopes to address the short-term problem by incentivizing clean-up crews like the Poop Patrol with high wages while also channeling additional funds to existing efforts like Pit Stop, “a program offering mobile toilets and dog-waste stations in various neighborhoods, including five additional toilets and expanded hours of operation at five locations.”
San Francisco’s decrepit, feces-ridden sidewalks are the residents’ No. 1 complaint — so the city’s newly elected mayor London Breed is creating a new clean up patrol to deal with “No. 2.”
“With a hearty High OH Silver”, It's the Poop Patrol to the rescue pic.twitter.com/sCY3mmowqv
— Steve Robertson (@Aroarofalion) August 15, 2018
Sustainable solutions for these systemic problems could take far longer to implement. To create more affordable housing and halt the homelessness epidemic, San Francisco’s “restrictive zoning laws” and ever-growing tech-worker population must both be handled in ways that aid the needy as well as the well-off.
— John King (@JohnKingSFChron) August 26, 2018
In the meantime, people looking for a job in San Francisco could do a lot worse than the Poop Patrol.