City Has Plan to Get Homeless Out of Ferry Building

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    MIAMI - OCTOBER 24: Lynne Purvis warms her hands over a fire as she takes a break from helping to build a shanty town in the Liberty City neighborhood October 24, 2006 in Miami, Florida. Several organizations and individuals occupied the public land to build the shanty town to house the poor and homeless. Citing disillusionment with the ability of the system to serve the needs of the poor Black community, and in the wake of the latest government housing scandal, the shanty town was built. The lot owned by the city of Miami and has been vacant for years since the Miami purchased, and subsequently demolished the low rent apartment complex at the site. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    Even as the city prepares to cut back social services, plans are afoot to aid homeless people around the Ferry Building.

    After the demolition of the Transbay Terminal, merchants along the Embarcadero say that there's been an increase in the number of long-term chronic homeless people that they see.

    The Transbay Terminal was home to a large homeless encampment, estimated to number about 100 individuals.

    Of those, the city has been able to find supportive housing for about half. But that leaves dozens of people wandering with no shelter or safety net.

    Many of those people appear to have wound up near the Ferry Building. Merchants observed loitering, panhandling, and dirty bathrooms, according to the Ex.

    The response has been to increase security, but also to dispatch teams to encourage the homeless people into programs. Security guards are getting training to help them deal with the transients productively, rather than with hostility.

    But this is a difficult time for the city's homeless services. The mayor has asked departments to identify up to 20% in cuts, and that means that at least $9.3 million will come out the the Human Services Agency, according to the Gate.