San Francisco To Fine Stores Trying To Deter Homeless Encampments On Streets: REPORT

(Photo by Jason Henry / AFP) (Photo by JASON HENRY/AFP via Getty Images)

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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San Francisco reportedly plans to fine stores using metal planters to deter homeless encampments on streets.

The city demanded residents and business owners who placed large planters in front of their property to remove the planters within 30 days or face a fine accounting for the cost of their removal, according to The San Francisco Standard.

The planters, described by proponents of homeless encampments as “hostile infrastructure,” were placed by property owners to stop homeless encampments from forming in front of their residences and businesses, The San Francisco Standard reported.

The Department of Public Works issued several citations about the planters after activists complained, according to the outlet. Some of those who reported the planters alleged that disabled people and pedestrians were obstructed from moving past the area. (RELATED: San Francisco Cleans Up Homeless Encampments In Time For Chinese President’s Visit: REPORT)

“It’s a disgrace because San Francisco uses disability justice language to justify sweeping homeless people who are themselves disproportionately homeless,” activist Hazel Williams said.

Some planters listed in San Francisco’s complaint database as a result of reports allegedly block large swathes of the sidewalk while being filled with dirt and heavy items, according to the outlet. Scott Feeney, another opponent of the planters, argued that the planters were “obstacles.”

“It makes it, in some cases, an obstacle course to board the bus,” Feeney said. “I think it’s already discouraging people from walking and using transit.”

Homeless encampments have been overwhelming San Francisco in droves. The city totaled 523 homeless encampments in September 2023, the highest it’s been since October 2020.