Mission Residents Want No Homeless Tents or Soup Kitchen, Ask More from City

By Laura Waxmann : missionlocal – excerpt

Neighbors of the northeastern Mission confronted city leaders on issues of crime and homelessness in their neighborhood on Tuesday.

A group of residents from the northeastern Mission grilled city leaders on Tuesday about their plans for addressing crime and homelessness in the area, which many said were linked and on the rise.

In the wake of a double homicide on Sunday night just blocks away from where the meeting was held, some residents expressed fear that campers are bringing a criminal element to the neighborhood.

“One of the people who was killed was a long-time homeless individual,” said Carl Peterson, citing at least three other killings that occurred in or near homeless encampments in the past year. “A lot of our meetings have been about feces and tents but it’s getting a lot more serious than that when people are dying so much and all in one area.”

Some 40 of them crammed into a studio space above the confection shop Sixth Course near 15th and Mission streets, where they had met for the first time earlier this month to form a community group.

Concerned with rampant drug use and convinced that the Mission had become a “containing zone” for the city’s crime and poverty, others vehemently opposed additional homeless services – such as a proposed soup kitchen at 1930 Mission St. – moving into the area…

Ronen, who will assume office on January 8, agreed with neighbors that crime and the encampments are unacceptable, but that the latter should be addressed with compassion and more resources. Ronen said she demanded that the encampment resolution team continue its work in the Mission at a meeting with Mayor Ed Lee last week.

Calling the issues of housing and and homelessness “my obsession,” the supervisor elect said she plans to create more shelter spaces and to look at “innovative models” to address mental illness and substance abuse, such as wet houses and safe injection sites.

She then challenged the police captain on his role in ensuring that encampments remain at bay… (more)

 

 

 

Campos: Mission Homeless Tents Gone in 4 Months

By : missionlocal – excerpt

Supervisor David Campos announced on Monday that within four months, all of the homeless encampments in the Mission District would be dismantled.

“Our plan, and my commitment to you, is to remove all Mission encampments within the next four months, in an effective and humane manner,” said Campos in a press release addressed to Mission District residents and businesses.

“I am glad to report that the process for encampment removal is already underway,” he added, saying a new “Encampment Resolution Team” would be targeting tent cities in the northeastern section of the Mission District, from 16th to 19th streets between South Van Ness Avenue and Bryant Street.

Later on Monday at a community meeting, Campos, Jeff Kositsky — the head of the newly-created Department of Homelessness — Captain Daniel Perea of the Mission District police station, and other city officials spoke to a dozen Mission District residents about the encampments and confronted complaints that the city was doing nothing to help property owners.

“This neighborhood is an absolute travesty,” said Mark, who did not give a last name. “You should be ashamed of yourselves. It’s disgusting.”

“We pay the highest rents. We pay the highest property taxes in the country,” said David Garcia, another resident. “We deserve better.”

Other residents suggested erecting barricades on the sidewalks to prevent camping, as the city did after the crackdown on encampments on Division Street. Another resident said police officers should be empowered to dismantle tents and move people along.

Captain Perea, for his part, said it was against the law to forcibly displace people.

“We issue citations, we make arrests for warrants,” he said. “We can’t tell people to move. We have to follow the law.”… (more)