One of the last large homeless encampments in the city is being "resolved" according to city officials, and the dozens of people who have been living there for about a year or in some cases more are all theoretically being offered beds in shelters or Navigation Centers. If they choose not to take such offers, they may try to return to this area to camp, but Mission Local reports that the city will be fencing it off and keeping it cleared of tents or other structures once everyone has moved out.
The encampment had about 40 people still in it as of August, according to the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, down from about 60 at its height. The encampments' constant encroaching not to mention foot traffic along a bike bridge that commuters use to circumnavigate the tangle of freeway ramps and overpasses here at the junction of 101, 280, and Cesar Chavez have been a big issue for bicyclists in particular you can see how crowded it is in the video above, shot by a bicyclist in June.
Supervisor Hillary Ronen says that resolving this large encampment "could not be more urgent," and she tells Mission Local she's "worried that someone’s going to get killed" in the encampment, though she doesn't elaborate on the reasons for this fear.
Mission-wide, the number of individuals camping on the streets has been steadily declining in recent months, as Ronen discussed in this interview. An aide in her office, Carolina Morales, has been conducting regular homeless censuses of her own in the neighborhood, and she says there were just around 50 tents on the Mission's streets as of last Friday not counting the Hairball down from about 200 earlier this year. And, Ronen says, "There are no longer large encampments."
The Chronicle's Heather Knight credits Proposition Q, which voters passed last November, in combination with the opening of the city's fourth Navigation Center on South Van Ness which immediately created 120 new shelter beds. Under Prop Q, now referred to as Section 169 in the police code, city officials can clear any camps after giving campers 24 hours notice and the offer of a shelter bed. While some of the homeless Mission Local spoke to said that Navigation Centers are just glorified shelters and can feel uncomfortable and claustrophobic for any extended period of time, some have taken up the city's offer with the hope of finding more permanent housing.
It remains to be seen whether The Hairball will remain "resolved" after the city's work to resolve it, or whether, as many camping areas have in the past, it will return to its crowded state before long.