The City of San Francisco opened its first officially-sanctioned homeless camp this week, located outside City Hall.
The camp, called “Safe Sleeping Village,” includes 80 tents, set up inside rectangles marked in white paint on asphalt, and “provides meals, showers, clean water and trash pickup” to camp residents, according to the Associated Press.
San Francisco has opened its first sanctioned camp for homeless people, in a parking lot right outside its city hall. The camp, called “Safe Sleeping Village,” has designated areas marked out for tents to maintain social-distancing. pic.twitter.com/9id3Zjilhn
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 22, 2020
SFGate.com reports that the camp opened May 13 for “individuals who were already established in the City Hall area”
In addition, “Occupants must sign a community guidelines agreement and are expected to meet certain expectations around conduct. Only occupants can enter the site through entrances that are monitored by officials 24 hours a day.”
Other official homeless camps are to be opened later, to address the problem of crowded informal camps on city streets.
The coronavirus gave new impetus to San Francisco’s experiment with homeless tent cities. As Breitbart News noted in March, both San Francisco and Los Angeles originally planned to move as many homeless people indoors as possible to prevent the spread of the virus in homeless encampments. However, experts soon learned that the virus spread more easily indoors than outdoors, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised against moving the homeless indoors. San Francisco reversed course and encouraged homeless people to stay in tents during the outbreak.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson recently told Breitbart News Daily that homeless tent cities that are set up on public land, and that provide medical services, might be the best way to address the problem.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.