San Francisco officials, like those in other cities around the country, continue to struggle to come up with a plan for what to do with homeless RV dwellers living on congested city streets.
First city officials chased the RVs out of the Sunset and Richmond Districts. Then they were rolled off Potrero Hill and squeezed out from underneath the “Hairball,” a series of interconnecting freeways in the southeast.
Now, in the latest effort to discourage people who say they have nowhere else to go to sleep and live, Supervisor Ahsha Safai is seeking an oversize vehicle ban for a tiny street tucked behind Alemany Boulevard, a stone’s throw from Cayuga Playground, reports the SF Examiner.
In a hearing Friday morning a handful of people met to discuss the future of the destitute and homeless. In that hearing room a woman who lives in an RV along De Wolf Street spoke to hearing officers in Spanish — though the officers could not speak or understand Spanish, and no translator was immediately available.
“Please, I need to explain,” she said in Spanish. “I have a mobile home that’s parked there. I live there, I sleep there. I take care of my (disabled) son and only daughter. Where will I move? I’m (disabled).” She began to sob midway through and in English said, “Please, help me.”
Within the last two years, the SFMTA Board of Directors, which gives final approval for such street changes, told SFMTA staff it would no longer pass oversize vehicle restrictions because those restrictions aren’t permanent solutions.
“We weren’t really solving anything,” said SFMTA Board of Directors Chair Cheryl Brinkman, “by putting these block by block restrictions on, we were simply moving the problem of vehicularly housed residents around The City.”
Those vehicles were shuffled around to new neighbors who then would ask for their own ban. And on, and on, and on.
On De Wolf Street Friday, a man living in an RV said police had “gotten rid of the folks who use drugs.” He came to live in his RV after he could no longer afford his apartment.
The MTA Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on vehicle restrictions to De Wolf Street Sept. 18.