Blue City Rushes To Clear Homeless Camps Ahead Of Large International Summit

San Francisco is clearing homeless encampments ahead of an international summit in the city that will attract foreign leaders, CEOs and thousands of attendees, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

San Francisco’s homeless population increased by nearly 1,000 people between 2015 and 2022, and a rise in crime and drug use in 2020 and 2021 led the city to issue a state of emergency in December 2021. The city is now aggressively clearing homeless encampments before the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) on Saturday and attempting to stay within the bounds of a federal injunction against its enforcement of homeless ordinances, according to the Chronicle.

“When our community hosts events, like APEC, we want to put our best foot forward,” San Francisco homeless department spokesperson Emily Cohen told the Chronicle. “As always, addressing homelessness requires a comprehensive and compassionate approach. The APEC conference provides an opportunity to spotlight San Francisco’s commitment to this issue and demonstrate our City’s innovation, resilience and determination to find lasting and meaningful solutions.”

The city didn’t open special homeless shelters for APEC but will start its winter shelter program right before the event and close by, according to Cohen.

Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu of the U.S. District Court in Oakland, California, barred San Francisco from enforcing some of its homeless ordinances in December 2022. The city appealed the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and multiple California state officials have called on the court to overturn the injunction.

The injunction prevents San Francisco from clearing encampments without offering adequate shelter, according to the Chronicle. The city can remove encampments with 72 hours of notice to give access to emergency responders or people with disabilities and can sweep encampments for health and safety reasons.

Democratic San Francisco Mayor London Breed did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Brandon Poulter on November 6, 2023

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