RVs showing their wear line the streets from the Mission to Bayview in San Francisco while officials weigh solutions to a new phase of the homeless crisis. Those solutions may not be as doable as officials would like.
Maybe the answer is to move every vehicle to an asphalt lot with trash cans, portable toilets and electrical hookups. Or perhaps a team of outreach workers should roam the streets, coaxing people out of their vehicles and steering them into services, the same way San Francisco dismantled its big tent encampments, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
If those ideas don’t pan out, the city could direct everyone to an RV campground within 50 miles, with showers and laundry facilities, for $25 to $90 a night.
Of course, nothing is quite that simple, said Jeff Kositsky, director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. He estimates that 500 vehicles line San Francisco curbs on any given night, up from 387 – with 1,100 people living in them – documented in the last official homeless count in January 2017.
“It’s a bad situation all around,” said Ed Reiskin, director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which banned large commercial trucks and RVs from 61 streets and roadways four years ago.
To some, these broken-down hulks are a galling symptom of the region’s affordability crisis. To others, they show how transit officials have failed to prevent vehicle owners from using the city’s southeast neighborhoods as storage centers.
Neighbors and district supervisors are fed up, saying that vans commandeer scarce street parking and that their inhabitants illegally siphon from the electrical grid and dump gasoline or septic tanks on the sidewalk. Homeless officials are doing new counts and conducting surveys, but it seems no one has come up with the money or infrastructure to solve the problem.