In a recent discussion on “Bloomberg Technology,” San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed emphasized that the city’s efforts towards street cleaning and assisting the homeless to find shelter have been relentless, notwithstanding the upcoming APEC Summit involving President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping.
The host, Ed Ludlow, questioned why the city’s actions were heightened due to the imminent arrival of global leaders, considering the city’s longstanding issues. “Why does it appear that the forthcoming visit of President Biden, President Xi, and other international figures has prompted action on problems that have plagued the city for years?” he asked.
In response, Mayor Breed asserted that the city’s efforts were far from new or sudden. “To clarify, our efforts to resolve these issues have been ongoing for several years. This isn’t a problem we’ve been idle about,” she stated. “Since my tenure as mayor began in 2018, we’ve facilitated over 10,000 people in their journey out of homelessness.
We’ve never had that many people living on our streets. Contrary to the trend in other cities, we’ve seen a decrease in our homeless population. This is an issue we’ve been tirelessly addressing. This year, we’ve garnered additional resources from the state and federal government, which have greatly aided us in tackling our challenges.”
Ludlow then brought up a question from a viewer who was curious about whether the recent movement of homeless people from certain areas was a temporary shift due to the APEC Summit or part of a more permanent solution.
Mayor Breed explained that the recent actions were part of a concerted effort to move people off the streets despite a court case restricting their ability. “We still have hundreds of beds available for them,” she reassured. “Our street outreach team is working tirelessly every day.
After we obtained clarity from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, we offered shelter to those who were involuntarily homeless, enabling them to transition into housing and support. As soon as we had the green light, we were proactive in helping people off the streets. We aim to extend support and compassion, not leave people stranded on our streets when we can offer them a home.”