Diseased streets needles, garbage, feces – san francisco – oakland – california (ca) – page 22 – city-data forum electricity lyrics


Habitual offenders like those around the camps have zero intention of turning their lives around. These people know how far they can push things to stay just outside of what the police can do to stop them. Having spoken to several officers, they are just as frustrated. Laws like Prop 47 have emboldened criminals because they know police can do little to stop them.

From my research, quite a few homeless in the Bay Area are from other states. California has a reputation for generous social services, high tolerance for this type of behavior, and a plethora of informal organizations that practically hand deliver everything needed to live on the streets. As we have noticed in this thread, there is a culture that believes anyone on the street is a victim and blameless for their situation. It’s a strange cultural mindset. I believe that those that need a helping hand and are willing to live by society’s laws should have every opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, there are and always will be those unwilling or unable to do this. To dump scarce resources in their direction and enabling this behavior does a disservice to everyone.

WHY live in a world class city, and avoid ALL of the amenities that make the place different from Poughkeepsie, Hoboken, or Podunk? YES, there are neighborhoods outside of downtown–that’s a requirement for it to be a metropolis, if all it had was downtown it would be only a county seat, not a world class city. NO ONE denies there are places outside of downtown. But why is this fact some kind of explanation of how it is still WONDERFUL to live in SF? I can get "non-world-class, but clean" neighborhoods in dozens of cities large and small, with every climate this planet offers, with mountains, oceans, rivers, seas, whatever. The reason to be HERE is not "I can get a postage-stamp house in a clean neighborhood." Reasons to be here include "I can live in a beautiful place and have world class amenities, like top arts, exciting theatre, great music, world-class performers, good food, and so on." Living here and avoiding all those things is FINE–everyone gets to choose. But acting like the avoidance of those things is a SOLUTION to the declining quality of life of an allegedly world-class city is not fine.

We are becoming accustomed to removing every aspect of the city and area that makes it a pleasure to be here, because those things can be exploited in destructive ways by people who need very different and more extensive help than we are supplying by enabling responses. Examples?

We shut-off the fountain in Justin Herman Plaza (I think that’s the name) at the Embarcadero about 10-15(?) years ago. Why? Because homeless people with serious problems were using it as a receptacle for urine and feces. That was a nice fountain. Now its junk.

That’s a partial list, because, one-by-one the thin layer of public amenities (for example, public bathrooms–a necessity, not an "amenity") world-class cities routinely provide are being dismantled, locked, closed, destroyed, in response to abuses and being overwhelmed by people who NEED OUR HELP. How long will we allow the extremists on both sides (the enablers and the genociders) to define our options? We can do better than those options. But the first step is admitting there’s a problem, and the second step is regarding avoidant responses as individual answers fine for individuals but INSUFFICIENT for a truly compassionate and non-dysfunctional society.