‘Homeless coalition has held SF hostage for a decade’: Mayor

2 mins read

Unhoused people occupying San Francisco’s public places has been a longstanding problem. And on Wednesday, a federal appeals court held a hearing on whether to uphold a lower court’s order that bans the city from enforcing homeless sweeps. 

The issue comes from a lower court seeking to ban the city from conducting sweeps of unhoused people. 

San Francisco Mayor London Breed wants to court to reverse that decision. 

“The homeless coalition has held San Francisco hostage for a decade. It is time for their reign to end,” Breed said Wednesday.

San Francisco Homeless Coalition’s executive director, Jennifer Friedenbach says their lawsuit was filed to make the city give firm offers of shelter before citing and arresting people. 

“The mayor has been cutting ribbon after ribbon of new shelters that have opened up, new housing programs that have opened up, new treatment beds that are directly the result of our work. What we are talking about today is asking her as the city’s main administrator to have her departments follow the law,” said Friedenbach.

According to a press release Wednesday from San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu, after the hearing, the two sides appear to have found some common ground.

It read in part:

“It never made sense that a person who rejected a shelter offer or had a shelter bed but chose to maintain tents on the street should be considered ‘involuntarily homeless.’ Plaintiffs reversed that position during oral argument today and agreed with the City that enforcement action could be taken against unhoused individuals who refuse offers of shelter.”

That is not effective immediately.

Officials at the city attorney’s office say they are evaluating their options, which include filing something with the lower court to modify the injunction to allow enforcement against people who refuse shelter from the city.


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.