Watch CBS News

San Francisco attempts to clear homeless from areas near APEC Summit, straining shelter system

S.F. begins moving homeless from downtown near APEC Summit
S.F. begins moving homeless from downtown near APEC Summit 03:15

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco has been stepping up efforts to put its best face forward for APEC, including the clearing out of homeless encampments in the neighborhoods surrounding the conference.

That activity has raised questions about where the unhoused are going and what's being done to get them the help they need.

Michael Hudson has been living near Market Street for the past few months. He says he just found out about the APEC conference.

ALSO READ: More stories on the APEC Summit

"This the third time they kicked us out. And this time they wouldn't let us put our tents back up," said Hudson.

He said in the process of the latest move, he lost many of his belongings.

"They threw it all on a big a-- box truck then they took it and hauled it off somewhere," said Hudson. "They are supposed to keep it for us, and it said it on the paper they gave us. But when I asked about it, no one could find any of my stuff. All they doing is harassing us more often and coming out, arresting people."

ALSO READ: What to know about APEC-related San Francisco street closures and transit impacts

The Coalition on Homelessness says more assistance should be available for unhoused individuals living in the security zone for APEC. 

"We been pushing to have them open up more resources," said Executive Director Coalition on Homelessness Jennifer Friedenbach. "What we have seen is that the main shelter that people can just walk up and go -- at Dolores Street -- they are not letting people sleep there. They are only letting folks referred out of the APEC zone to sleep there."

SFMTA APEC INFO: APEC Travel and Transit Info | Interactive Map | Nob Hill Impacts | SoMa Impacts

Friedenbach said her organization got word about the Dolores shelter plan on Wednesday. 

"We would like to see the city add some more beds and maybe give some hotel rooms or shelter in a church. But add capacity to offset the displacement folks are facing," said Friedenbach.

KPIX reached out the city for comment about these concerns and received an email that said in part, "The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing is not opening any special shelter capacity for APEC." 

It noted it does already have some recently funded locations available, such as the Interfaith Winter Shelter. Some 300 additional beds should be available between November and December at three adult shelters. 

 As for Hudson, he's not sure where he will sleep the rest of the week. 

"I'll drop my stuff at the shelter down there, but I ain't sleeping there," he said. "It's dirty and people be coughing all over you."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.