Trash, Human Waste from Homeless Encampment on Division Street a Health Hazard: Officials - NBC Bay Area
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Trash, Human Waste from Homeless Encampment on Division Street a Health Hazard: Officials

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Public Health Department on Tuesday said the living situation from a so-called tent city in San Francisco is becoming a public nuisance and a potential health threat. Michelle Roberts reports. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016)

    San Francisco health officials have declared a homeless encampment on Division Street a public nuisance and people living there have three days to clear out.

    On Tuesday, officials said the trash and human waste being generated in the makeshift tent city are creating a health hazard. It needs to come down, they said.

    Ashante Jones, however, said he was forced to leave his former camp on 12th Street about two months ago, in preparation for Super Bowl City. Now, he has nowhere to go.

    "I don’t think no one wants to be out here but they’re herding people from one section to the next – herding people," Jones said.

    Dennis Wagner, the chief financial officer of Rainbow Grocery, says he’s been asking the city to clean up the area around his Folsom Street store.

    "All of us would like to city the city cleaner," he said.

    Simply forcing the homeless people to move to another neighborhood is not a solution, though, according to Wagner.

    "We all need to work together to solve this problem, not just turn a blind eye and kick them away," he said.

    Three miles away from the encampment on Division Street, Mayor Ed Lee toured a new homeless facility at Pier 80, which offers 150 beds – many of which aren’t being used.

    "We’ll give everyone an opportunity to come here on a voluntary basis, but ultimately we will not have encampments on the street," Lee said.

    For his part, though, Jones said that unless the city offers to move his belongings, he’s staying put until he can find a permanent home.

    "I don’t think I’m going anywhere until they can provide me proper resources," he said.

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