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SF Neighborhood Wants Help From City to Deal With Growing Health, Safety Threats

A San Francisco neighborhood knows what it wants for Christmas: help from the city to deal with growing health and safety threats.

Leaders of the Fillmore District — the heart of the City’s African American community — called in city brass Monday to demand action.

“We want action and we don’t want to enter 2023 with any more excuses about what you’re gonna do,” said Amos Brown, pastor at the Third Baptist Church. 

The reverend called the meeting at his church to hold the city’s feet to the fire about the homeless, open drug use, people using the streets of the Fillmore District like a toilet, and threats to public safety. 

He conference-called a Safeway executive to demand he make the local store safer and cleaner.

Brown also spoke to representatives of the city’s police, fire and homelessness departments.

“We want more action to make sure that it’s not just a ‘get tough’ policy but a common sense policy,” said Brown.

The executive director of the Ella Hill Hutch Community Center said he was beaten right outside the center by two homeless men swinging two-by-fours.

“It’s not OK to be living in campsites, it’s not okay to have my kids walk by and see people using stuff,” said James Spingola. “It’s not OK and at the end of the day, if we don’t try and fix it, then, who’s gonna fix it?”

City leaders see these same problems citywide and are scrambling to adequately respond.

“Fentanyl has really changed the game in so many ways. I think it’s really told us we got to try new methods,” said Shireen McSpadden of the San Francisco Department of Homelessness.

The plea for new solutions was seconded by the PD’s representative, who offered this path forward.

“Tonight we write down some of these things, but in the next 24 hours we get together and really drill down about what we want to get done and then everybody commits to something and then we do it,” said SFPD’s assistant chief David Lazar.

The police also said that part of the problem is they need more cops. 

They say they need more than 500 officers to get back to what they consider adequate staffing.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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