Leave it to the law school to sue the city, and even though the mayor specifically crafted a plan to mollify their desire to see the crowded sidewalks more clear, UC Hastings is keeping the heat on.
We mentioned earlier this week that UC Hastings and the Tenderloin Merchants and Property Association filed a federal lawsuit against the city over the “containment zone” conditions as encampments on sidewalks have increased by three-fold under shelter-in-place. And that the mayor responded to them fairly quickly with a block-by-block cleanup plan by mid-week. And if you haven’t been strolling through the Tenderloin lately, you might be shocked by the on-the-ground photo from Hoodline’s Carrie Sisto of how bad the encampments really have gotten.
So the mayor’s Human Right Commission did something of a quick version of the Homeless Point-In-Time Count in the area to establish which blocks need the most help, as part of this 32-page Tenderloin Neighborhood Plan for COVID-19. The red blocks are the highest priority level, green the lowest, and the city plans to move many unsheltered people to a “Safe Sleeping Village” beginning Monday, and to beef up numbers of “handwashing stations, pit stops, syringe disposal boxes and kiosks.”
The folks at UC-Hastings are not moved by the gesture, as KPIX reports they feel the ‘service first’ model only encourages more street camping and drug dealing.
Chancellor and Dean David Faigman weighs in on SF's plan to address unsafe conditions in the Tenderloin. In summary, "it’s entirely inadequate." #UCHastings #COVID19— UC Hastings Law (@UCHastingsLaw) May 8, 2020
Read the full response: https://t.co/2uXR578EtN
“I’ve read the plan in detail, and it’s entirely inadequate,” UC Hastings law chancellor and dean David Faigman said in a statement that’s available online. “The plan is just more talk. We need action, not talk. We need the tents and the drug dealers removed and the unhoused moved to safe and temporary housing, such as large tents or other shelter, until a permanent solution is accomplished.”
Hoodline adds comment from the school’s director of operations Rhiannon Bailard that “it appears that the actions proposed are intended to sanction the continuation of tents and encampments on the sidewalks by providing resources and services on those same sidewalks and, possibly, adjacent streets.”
Chancellor Faigman does go out of his way to not criticize the mayor, saying “We’ve always had a very good relationship with the City, and we did not name the Mayor in this suit.” But Hastings’ flurry of lawsuits and statements is long on complaints, and short on solutions. Breed has taken some measures, but at a time when one literally cannot maintain any sort of social distancing on tent-packed Tenderloin sidewalks, you can expect people to remain long on complaints.