Sit-lie ordinance not about the homeless
|Photo by Eric Risberg|
A letter to the editor in the May 7 Chronicle:
Not about the homeless
The United Nations report denouncing sit-lie laws as inhumane solutions for homelessness (U.N. takes stand against 'sit-lie' laws, May 4) makes the mistake of believing that the city's Civil Sidewalk Ordinance attempts to rid San Francisco of "the homeless."
The 2010 ordinance was passed by voters to give the police a tool to deal with violent persons or groups who colonized the public sidewalk. Haight Street, the Castro and other walking neighborhoods faced a major safety crisis from wandering gangs of young people preying upon residents and visitors alike. It was not about homelessness.
The people have a right to insist they feel safe when walking on city streets.
Yes, the sit-lie ordinance was about street punks who sleep in Golden Gate Park and occupy Haight Street during the day to panhandle for money for alcohol and drugs, much to the distress of Haight Street merchants and local residents. It had nothing to do with housing.