A Discussion of Homelessness

By Bob Barnwell

The Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association’s Public Safety Committee met on January 3rd to discuss difficult encounters with homeless in Hayes Valley, Western Addition and the Lower Haight. Dariush Kayhan, the Director of Homeless Policy for the Mayor, Celia Lee of the City Attorney’s office, Michell Hampton, the Customer Service Center Supervisor of the 311 Service Cen- ter, Dr. Rajesh Parekh of the Homeless Outreach First Team provided information about what to do and whom to call in each instance. The DA’s office, Juvenile Probation, SF Safe, Captain Mannix of Northern Station and Vallie Brown of Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi’s office fielded other questions about public safety. Bob Besso, a manager at Recology, provided information about dealing with those who go through garbage cans.

For persistent problems, call 311 and get a tracking number for your complaint. You may also call the non-emergency police number 553-0123 and get a CAD number. The tracking and CAD numbers will point out to the police a recurring problem. To provide outreach to the homeless you may contact the Homeless Outreach program at 203-6643 or 203-9963. In most situations residents should not confront a homeless person; instead they should make the phone calls to involve the proper authorities.

We are preparing a Public Safety Bulletin for businesses and residents with guidelines on homeless situations. We thank the participating City departments and businesses for their help in making our neighborhoods better places to live. Our next meeting is Monday, March 7th at the Korean American Center at 745 Buchanan when we will discuss the services provided to us by calling 311.