There’s been a lot of focus, rightly, over the last week on the city and county’s sluggish efforts to address a deadly Hepatitis A outbreak.
But another agency’s response to the crisis that got less attention in Lisa Halverstadt’s initial coverage is also revealing. MTS officials were wary of putting a hand-washing station on their property because it might encourage the homeless to … well, use them.
“My only thoughts are that this would probably become a magnet for homeless people to come onto our property just to use the sink (take a bath, brush their teeth, wash their dishes, etc.),” MTS security director Manuel Guaderrama wrote in an Aug. 15 email.
It’s a tension that’s been playing out for years, Halverstadt writes in a new story: Officials have taken numerous steps to ensure the homeless who set up camps downtown don’t get so comfortable that staying permanently is a viable option. They’ve installed jagged rocks to deter the homeless from sleeping under an overpass, they’ve used a law intended to target trash bins to ticket the homeless and they’ve stepped up patrols on Fiesta Island and around Mission Bay Park.
“Faulconer and other city leaders have said homeless camps aren’t ideal,” Halverstadt writes. But the city is learning the hard way that not addressing the basic needs of those living in them can come with side effects too.”
Politics Roundup: Dumanis Makes it Official
Former DA Bonnie Dumanis said when she stepped down as the county’s head prosecutor that she was exploring a run for county supervisor, and she made it official Tuesday by filing the paperwork.