A large and "complex" tent city centered around the 101 freeway overpass at Cesar Chavez Street was dismantled and cleared Tuesday, scattering approximately 100 individuals, only a handful of whom went to shelters, as the Chronicle reports.
Though people have been camping on land around the freeway interchange there for years, the encampment has grown significantly in recent months following the clearing of other tent cities, like the one on Division Street that was cleared with much fanfare in late February and early March. And it was clearly identified as one of the "hot spots" the mayor mentioned last month when he announced that all street encampments would be systematically cleared based on priority and safety concerns this in the wake of the shooting by police of homeless man Luis Gongora, who apparently had a kitchen knife and allegedly threatened cops with it.
Critics have rightly pointed out that this tent-clearing process feels pretty pointless when most of the campers simply relocate to another street and make a camp there, and the ballooning size of this camp is just proof of that fact, following the clearing of camps on Shotwell and Division.
Per the Chron, the Cesar Chavez camp had a variety of people living in it, some for lengthy periods of time, including senior citizens. Apparently there were camps within the the camp separated by drug use, with one pot-smoking camp rejecting any heroin users. Only a handful (eight people) were convinced in the days before the camp was cleared to go to the temporary shelter on Pier 80, and another handful were reportedly relocated to the Homeless Navigation Center in the Mission.
On to the next "hot spot" for everyone else, I guess though Bernalwood reports that as of Wednesday morning, some of the tents had already reappeared.