San Francisco City Sued by Residents over troubled Tenderloin neighborhood

San Francisco, CA: On Thursday, a number of residents and two hotels in San Francisco’s troubled Tenderloin neighborhood sued the city, claiming that the area is being used as a trap for the city’s excessive drug use and other vices, which is causing people to be afraid to leave their homes and businesses to be unable to hire help.

The federal court case states that the plaintiffs are not requesting monetary damages. On the contrary, they are demanding that the Tenderloin be treated like any other area where crime is not permitted, with the sidewalks cleared of illegal drug vendors, fentanyl users, violent behavior, and tent encampments.

By neglecting to prohibit sidewalk vending and refusing to maintain pathways clear for individuals using walkers or wheelchairs, among other omissions, city officials, according to them, have enabled such activity to thrive in the region, without spreading to neighboring communities.

The attorneys, led by Matt Davis, are demanding an end to the widespread illegal street vending, as well as the squalor and misery that permeate their neighborhood. They feel this way because the city has chosen to allow addicts to live and die on the streets of the Tenderloin, according to Davis’ prepared statement.

Mayor London Breed and other city officials have long been concerned about the Tenderloin. Breed has repeatedly promised crackdowns on narcotics and declared an emergency in the area. In November, she will have three formidable opponents in her reelection bid, all of whom have accused her administration of ignoring issues like homelessness, encampments, and the open-air drug market.

According to Breed’s office, the area will receive additional police officers, resources, and surveillance cameras as a result of the recently passed Proposition E, which she placed on the ballot.

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There have been some positive changes, but the mayor is aware of the concerns voiced by Tenderloin residents and business owners and promises to keep working to improve the area in terms of cleanliness and safety, according to the statement.

A court order from a case that was filed by advocates for homeless persons and those experiencing homelessness against the city in 2022 limits the power of officials like Breed to destroy encampments, according to her office.

In that case, the judge ruled that local authorities cannot further force homeless persons to use public camping areas without first providing them with suitable inside shelter. The United States Supreme Court is now considering the case.

On Thursday, a complaint was filed against the Phoenix Hotel and the Best Western Road Coach Inn by five unnamed plaintiffs.

Housekeeper Jane Roe is one of them; she is married and has two little children but doesn’t earn enough to relocate. “Users openly injecting or smoking narcotics” and individuals on the ground “who appear unconscious or dead” are common sights for her, according to the complaint, and drug traffickers block the entrance to her building. A parent must always accompany her children when they play outside, she claims.

The elderly woman, Susan Roe, reportedly uses a walker, but the sidewalk is blocked by shopping carts and broken-down bicycles, so she has to step out onto the busy roadway to use her walker. As an added obstacle, she must avoid “excrement, used syringes, vomit and garbage.”

A hotel employee was hit in the head while asking a trespasser to leave the parking lot, according to operators of the Phoenix Hotel. Additionally, the hotel’s restaurant has been unable to hire a qualified chef due to street conditions.