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Petition to Terminate Safe Sleeping Area at 1515 South Van Ness Avenue

 

 

We are happy to report that we were able to obtain a Memorandum of Understanding  from the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, The Department of Public Works, The San Francisco Police Department, the Department of Emergency Management, and the Department of Public Health on February 1, 2023. The purpose of this agreement is to document departmental commitments to improving the street conditions around the area of 1515 South Van Ness  and to help ensure the success of these programs, as well as ensure the Mission neighborhood is safe, clean and livable for all residents.

 

The Dolores Street Community Services was tasked to operated the Safe Sleeping Area at 1515 South Van Ness Avenue since at beginning of the pandemic. This site was being developed as 157-unit mixed-use housing project that was slated to be built by 2017. Anti-housing sentiment by Supervisors Campos and Ronen killed the project. It became a 120 bed Navigation Center instead that ran for almost two years. When it closed, Hillary Ronen promised that this site would not be operated as a shelter. That promise was broken and it became in Safe Sleeping Area in March 2019. Paul Monge, Ronen's assistant, promised us that tents would be in the site not on our sidewalks.  Since it opened, the sidewalks around the SSA have been clogged with huge out-of-control encampments. Open-air drug use, filth, massive graffiti bombing, illegal dumping, human feces have been a daily occurrence in our neighborhood as a direct result of poor management of this site by Supervisor Ronen, the City of San Francisco, and the bad practices of Dolores Street Community Services.

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Year

November 2022

Category

Petition

Project Purpose

Hold city officials and non-profits accountable for the harm they do to residents.

PETITION REQUEST:


We, the undersigned, are concerned neighbors who urge our leaders to act now to terminate the Safe Sleeping Area run by Dolores Street Community Services at 1515 South van Ness.

GROSS

 

MISMANAGEMENT OF THE SAFE SLEEPING AREA BY
DOLORES STREET COMMUNITY SERVICES:


The Safe Sleeping Area (SSA) run by Dolores Street Community Services opened in September 2020.  Since then, the site has been grossly mismanaged. The building is a  graffiti covered eyesore.  Trash is allowed to proliferate on the sidewalks around it. The area is unsupervised and activities such as drinking, and drug use take place on the sidewalks that abut the area. For the entire time the site has been operating, huge and out-of-control encampments have proliferated in our community and particularly around the site itself.  Dolores Street Community Services often purges unruly residents of the site on to our sidewalk where they then set up encampments and create a nuisance in the neighborhood. There are no communications between the Dolores Street Community Services and residents and they refuse to hold themselves accountable for the harm they do to our community. This is particularly unconscionable since Paul Monge, Supervisor Ronen's assistant at the time the SSA opened, promised us that encampments would be in the SSA and not on the sidewalks.



 

REASONS FOR THIS  PETITION:


 

PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENDANGERMENT CONCERNS:
Encampments created by purged residents from the site, or from people who know people in the site, or by people wanting to be in the site, clog public access to sidewalks, create trash and unsanitary conditions, and use public areas to urinate and defecate. The site is in proximity to number of densely populated residential complexes, which include families with young children, and a 97-unit senior housing complex.

CONCLUSION:
There was no transparency or real public discussion given to the community concerning the opening of this site. The Dolores Street Community Services has created unsafe conditions by expelling problem residents of the site into our community thus forcing our community to deal with people who have addictions and mental issues. There is an unprecedented number of severely disturbed individuals that act out in unpredictable and dangerous ways in the neighborhood as a direct result of the Safe Sleeping Area. There is inadequate supervision of the sidewalks by the Safe Sleeping Area, which creates an environment ripe for illegal dumping, drinking, drug use, graffiti, and urination and dedication on our sidewalks. The City was disingenuous in its commitment to the community to keep tents in the Safe Sleeping Area and off our sidewalks. The City has exploited our neighborhood by recklessly using it as dumping ground for the victims of its failed policy with little or no oversight.
 

All images were taken on the sidewalks surrounding the Safe Sleeping area.  Dolores Street Community Center regularly kicks out SSA residents for being unruly with the result that we are left to deal with people who are addicted and mentally ill in front of our homes and businesses.