California Highway Patrol police, San Francisco police, Cal Trans workers, Department of Public Works, and workers from the mayor’s Homeless Outreach Team descended today on an encampment on Fourth and King.
Yesterday, 40-50 people lived on the sidewalk and under the freeway overpass next to the Caltrain tracks. The encampment had tents, mobile units, and other makeshift housing. One group of residents had a large tent with a well-maintained garden in the front yard.
Another, a woman who several residents said suffered from mental illness, had built a home out of metal that looked like parts of carts, wood, sheets and mattresses. After about four hours this morning, most other residents were moved out of the camp, but she remained, moving and packing suitcases. After Homeless Outreach Team members, police, workers, and humanitarian volunteers approached her, she took a single suitcase and walked to the sidewalk, then sat and watched as her other suitcases, mattresses, and the structures that constituted her house were thrown into a garbage truck.
The eviction began around 8am. Some residents said they were told they could take with them only what they could carry or, if they had something wheeled like a shopping or bike cart, what they could push. Others said they hadn’t been told one way or another what they could take, just that they had to get out.
“I don’t understand that,” added Crisco. “You’re creating a criminal element when you do that. You’re putting people in a position where they have to steal to acquire what just got taken from them.”
The eviction was based on complaints from neighbors and other residents.