Tonight, District 5 Supervisor London Breed and several neighborhood groups will meet at SFPD Park Station to discuss issues related to homelessness in the Haight and its environs. It's Park Station's normal, monthly community meeting, but the agenda for this month's is unusually specific: what to do about transients in the neighborhood.
The meeting agenda was decided late last month after a building manager, who asked to remain nameless, circulated a flyer asking neighbors for support in cleaning up the corner of Haight and Clayton, which she says has become overrun with homeless kids and their dogs.
Shortly after, 23-year-old Audrey Carey was found murdered in Golden Gate Park, and three transient youths were arrested and charged for the crime, in addition to the killing of 67-year-old Steve Carter near Fairfax. The Chronicle reports that the suspects spent nights in Buena Vista Park and were known among the Haight's street population as meth users who behaved erratically.
After the meeting, the Buena Vista Neighbors group is calling for Mayor Ed Lee, SF District Attorney George Gascon, and SFPD Chief Greg Suhr to join them for a walk from Park Station to Buena Vista Park to "see personally what the neighborhood residents and visitors experience on a daily basis as we buy groceries, pick up dry cleaning, mail packages at the post office, grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant, and walk home from the bus stops."
From BVNA's most recent email:
These violent crimes are not isolated incidents in our neighborhood, but merely the inevitable result of what happens when you provide drug dealers, burglars, and gangs with a safe heaven and get-out-of-jail free card. Every day, residents and tourists on Haight Street are accosted by people trying to sell them (and their children) drugs. Pedestrians are forced off the sidewalks and onto the street by hostile clusters of people standing, sitting and lying on the sidewalks yelling as people try to pass by.
Walking Haight Street and its adjoining streets, Buena Vista Park, and Alvord Lake involves navigating unleashed pit bulls, human and dog feces, vomit, syringes, broken glass, and every form of garbage imaginable ... We implore you to take The Haight’s degradation seriously, before we have another murder and before the neighborhood is removed from every tour book and guided tour.
The meeting will be at 6pm tonight in the Park Station community room at 1899 Waller St. This has been a polarizing issue for the commentariat, so bring your thoughts. As usual, we'll have a recap of the meeting for readers tomorrow.