The first ever count of vehicle dwellers conducted in San Francisco and released by city officials last week revealed that there are roughly 430 vehicles being used as homes in San Francisco right now, most of them parked in the Bayview, Mission, and Taraval police districts.
The count was released as the city prepares to debate a policy that could see recreational vehicles and campervans banned on many city streets, or provide solace for those who call RVs home, reports the San Francisco Examiner.
Of the 432 vehicles counted with people sleeping in them by the city between October 22 and October 30, 313 were RVs and 119 were passenger vehicles. Many living in these vehicles were homeless, while some might be workers looking to shorten their commutes.
The count was conducted by the Healthy Streets Operations Center, a joint effort between the San Francisco Police Department, San Francisco Public Works, Homeless Outreach Team, and Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing.
The data was shared with the San Francisco Examiner by the department of homelessness director Jeff Kositsky.
“We want to go out and see who’s out there, what the needs are,” Kositsky said, “and once we have that information to develop a clear plan on how to best address the program.”
The new data will play a part in several major city efforts to somehow provide both help to those living in the RVs and relief for neighbors who consider them a nuisance.
“It gives the board a framework,” said SFMTA board chair Cheryl Brinkman. Before, those decisions were made on a one-by-one basis. Now, she said, the agency wants to think of “the bigger picture.”
The proposed policy set to be considered by the board would allow oversize vehicle restrictions near schoolyards, playgrounds and community parks, to ensure children are not exposed to “public health risks” or public safety risks from encampments, and on residential streets with “limited” on-street parking, or on streets with vehicles subject to dumping or “blight.”
Supervisor Hillary Ronen told the Examiner that on November 13 she plans to introduce legislation requiring the Department of Homelessness to create a central parking area for oversize vehicles within six months, complete with bathrooms and city services to help people become housed.