Tuesday’s San Francisco Health Commission meeting did not go as planned. In fact, it barely even started as more than 80 furious protesters shut the meeting down in reaction to a slew of scheduled evictions at an Adult Residential Facility (ARF).  

Mayor Breed’s proposed switcheroo of residential health patient beds into temporary homeless shelter beds at Zuckerberg General Hospital comes at a cost; at least 18 patients in the residential health program were served with eviction papers in late August. While the Department of Public Health (DPH) was quick to point out that all of the patients would be “redistributed” and would not be left homeless, a few local media outlets were quick to uncover the severity of the situation. The Chronicle discovered shortly after that “dozens of long-term beds sit empty at San Francisco General Hospital’s Adult Residential Facility every day,” and Mission Local put that number at 45 empty beds while reporting the facility had added “no new patients for months.”

Despite the exposure of these empty-bed blunders, the evictions are still on — the DPH cites a lack of staffing for the ARF, and also "staff negligence and errors," per the Chronicle. That situation came to a boil at Tuesday’s Health Commission meeting, and protesters shouted the meeting down to a close.

As the San Francisco Examiner informs us, the Board of Supervisors introduced a measure Tuesday to rescind the evictions (they’ll vote on that next week). But the DPH still intends to carry through on these relocations, prompting the demonstrators to storm their weekly meeting in defense of the Adult Residential Facility (ARF) with chants of “Save the ARF!”

“Where the f*** are we supposed to go?” KPIX quoted ARF resident Marcus Huiseman as saying. “On the streets? I don’t think so.”

The DPH is sticking with their story that this will not substantively affect anyone’s care. “There are 32 people at the ARF now, none of whom are going to lose their care,” DPH spokesperson Rachael Kagan told KPIX. “We are making the management decision to repurpose the vacant beds. So that we can expand Hummingbird [homeless Navigation Center] and continue to work on the problems at the ARF.” The Hummingbird Navigation Center opened at SF General in 2017 specifically to house mentally ill patients.

Maybe so, but this does not address the appropriate outrage over dozens of beds being left empty every night a city notorious for its homeless problem. Health Commission President  James Loyce shut the meeting down, telling KPIX, “I can’t do business like this. I just cannot.”

Related: Waitlist For SF Shelter Beds Surpasses 1,000 People [SFist]

Image: SEIU 1021