As tents line Tenderloin sidewalks, city pays $6,000/week to guard empty lot

by Carrie Sisto : hoodlike – excerpt

The city of San Francisco is paying a private security contractor nearly $6,000 per week to guard an empty Tenderloin parking lot — as ad-hoc tent villages of homeless people continue to crowd the adjacent sidewalks.

The city-owned lot at 180 Jones St. (at Turk), which is under the jurisdiction of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD), will ultimately be the site of 70-80 permanently affordable housing units.

But with construction still two years away, the lot was slated to become a 24-hour drug sobering center this spring. An initial plan called for 15 tents to be erected on the site, with nurses and peer counselors to assist people in the throes of meth-induced psychosis.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is now no timeline for that project, according to Max Barnes, spokesperson for the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

“The proposed drug sobering center has ongoing support as an evidence-based model to help people who use drugs,” Barnes said via email. “But the use of 180 Jones for that purpose has been put on hold as the [EOC] evaluates a number of potential publicly owned sites for its ongoing COVID-19 response.”… (more)

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