Anyone who’s spent time in San Francisco knows the city struggles mightily with public sanitation.
New information released by government watchdog Open the Books suggests that San Francisco’s crisis is actually getting worse. Sadly, 28,000 instances of human feces on the sidewalk were reported in 2018 alone.
The city’s homelessness epidemic undoubtedly contributes to the appalling conditions.
That’s up 8,000 from 2017 and follows a disturbing trend of increased public defecation in San Francisco.
— New York Post (@nypost) April 19, 2019
Open The Books released an alarming chart detailing San Francisco’s stinky problem.
San Francisco is the strangest place.
It’s home to most of the biggest tech companies on the planet, including Facebook, Twitter and Uber. But the city’s downtown areas are replete with shocking inequality.
An interactive map of all the reported sightings of human waste shocked the internet.
Um, the interactive map of recorded human poop sightings though… https://t.co/d9sT3pK9jV
— Josh (@bvsystem) April 16, 2019
People on social media reacted harshly to the statistics.
When you make it impossible for the city's homeless population to have access to a restroom, what do you expect?
— DryGrain (@dry_grain) April 19, 2019
Funny isn't it, that a person can be fined for allowing their dog to poop on the streets and not cleaning it up but the city doesn't have a problem with this.
— rjput (@rjput01) April 20, 2019
Hate to be "that guy" (particularly on the topic of street poop) but what's really happening is that more poop has been *reported* than ever https://t.co/5fn7r0LC46
— Jared Gilmour (@jaredgilmour) April 20, 2019
Some blame San Francisco’s public sanitation crisis on liberal policies.
How is your utopia coming along ? https://t.co/b4WpPJ3AQC
— ol s'imple jack head (@JackArmsHead) April 19, 2019
Only in such a progressive city would they not be able to come up with a solution to people #deficating everywhere. This is gross… tighten up #Sanfrancisco #poop #humanwaste pic.twitter.com/M80l1jq8QU
— Camo4x4s (@Camo4x4s) April 16, 2019
But the exact causes behind the homelessness issue are still hotly debated.
"Progressives" keep the zoning low-density so they can shovel a million bucks in their pocket when they sell their 100,000 dollar ranch (anywhere else in the us). If you really cared, you'd vote for 5x to 20x density, and bus lanes. Rail might be a pipe dream, but hey.
— George Walters (@geo_walters) March 3, 2019
Vacancy brings rents down because it then becomes a renters market. SF doesn't get this.
— Alexa* what time is it? (@2019isstupid) March 3, 2019
Even solutions like additional homeless shelters face legal opposition.
— CityLab (@CityLab) April 4, 2019
The debate sparked conversations about local government, mental health and the tech industry’s responsibility.
1. Define long tail. 2. Some/many of the tech workers will inevitably settle down, have kids and will want to live in more kids-friendly areas than SOMA. Richmond/Sunset may seem boring, until you have kids.
— ilyaeck (@ilyaeck) March 3, 2019
What we need is action. What we need are elected officials who will fight. for. housing.
— Bobak Esfandiari 🥑 (@Bobakkabob37) March 3, 2019
One proposed solution suggests turning garages into apartment complexes.
By one estimate, converting garages could create hundreds of new apartments in San Francisco.
— CityLab (@CityLab) April 19, 2019
But the complex problem has no simple solutions and people are fed up with the lack of progress.
Fix the housing crisis in San Francisco
— carrie boswell le san real one &only real carrie (@carrieh61670141) April 18, 2019
Experts often refer to the city’s homelessness epidemic as a humanitarian crisis.
If you’re interested in helping the homeless of San Francisco, check out this handy guide published by the San Francisco Chronicle.