In a new interview with the newly elected San Francisco mayor, London Breed discussed her plans to clean up San Francisco and what she would do to combat the scurge of homelessness that has taken over her city's streets.
Breed referenced her some of her conversations with nonprofit groups that are supposed to be helping and serving the homeless, but have failed to clean up the streets.
"I work hard to make sure your programs are funded for the purposes of trying to get these individuals help, and what I am asking you to do is work with your clients and ask them to at least have respect for the community — at least, clean up after themselves and show respect to one another and people in the neighborhood," Breed told NBC Bay Area.
When Breed was asked whether her plan would call for harsher penalties against people who litter or defecate on city streets, the newly elected mayor demurred, saying, "I didn’t express anything about a penalty," and that the mayor had encouraged nonprofits "to talk to their clients, who, unfortunately, were mostly responsible for the conditions of our streets."
During one tour of a homeless encampment, NBC Bay Area recorded a man preparing a needle while the mayor walks by.
"I will say there is more feces on the sidewalks than I’ve ever seen growing up here," Breed said. "That is a huge problem and we are not just talking about from dogs — we’re talking about from humans."
San Francisco is set to spend nearly $280 million this year on housing and services for the homeless alone, a nearly 40% increase compared to just five years ago. Even with the increased monies, the number of homeless in the city has remained fairly constant at around 7,500 people according to city records.
"About 70 percent of the people estimated to be homeless in San Francisco were actually housed in San Francisco before they became homeless," Breed said. "We have to make sure people who live here, [and] sadly, people who are homeless here, that they are also held accountable for taking care of our streets. This is our home."
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