Two thirds of San Francisco residents say their city is going downhill due to widespread homelessness, crime and rising housing costs, and a third plan to leave the city within three years, according to a bleak new poll.
The survey of 1,653 adults found that 65 percent said the city was declining, while 37 percent said they would live elsewhere in three years. For those aged 65 and over, a staggering 84 percent were planning to leave.
It paints a bleak portrait of an iconic city famed for its Golden Gate Bridge and colorful ‘Painted Ladies’ homes being wracked by poor leadership and urban decay, where the sight of addicts shooting up on sidewalks is now all too common.
The poll echoes comments today from DailyMail.com columnist David Marcus, who calls the city a ‘rancid drug-ravaged pit of human misery’ and slams its leaders, who ‘have no idea how to pull themselves out of it’.
Marcus graphically narrates ‘complete hopelessness in the eyes of haunted souls dragging themselves down the street looking for their next fix’ and ‘filthy tent cities stinking with human excrement and strewn with needles and pipes’.
A homeless man injects fentanyl into his friend’s armpit, due to a lack of usable veins, as people walk by near San Francisco’s City Hall, in early September
‘There is nary a cop to be found for vast stretches of beat, rundown byways,’ Marcus wrote of the city’s bleak Tenderloin district.
‘Hardly a business open and barely a twinkle of legal commerce or sign of civilization.’
The survey was carried out by The San Francisco Chronicle after the recall election of progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who was ousted in June amid frustration over public safety in the deeply Democratic city.
Respondents largely agreed on the city’s top problems: Homelessness took first place, followed by public safety and housing costs. Nearly 70 percent said they doubted those problems would get better in the coming three years.
One respondent, Dae Echols, 53, told The Chronicle he was ‘fed up with the city’ and rising prices would likely force him to retire elsewhere. The average rent in San Francisco has risen to $3,750 per month.
‘I just remember the hippie generation, and it was all about, take care of your friends, brotherly love. And that is totally gone,’ said Echols.
Some respondents hit out at Mayor London Breed, whose earlier popularity for steering the city through the pandemic appears to have waned amid widespread homelessness, property crime, the fentanyl epidemic and other woes.
Some 35 percent said Breed had done a poor or very poor job at making San Francisco a better place to live and work these past three years, while 42 percent said she’d done a fair job and 23 percent an excellent or good job.
San Francisco has become a drug-abusing Wild West with syringes littering pavements and drug dealers, selling heroin or the deadly opioid fentanyl, easily recognizable dressed in black with matching backpacks. Above: a person in a wheelchair shoots up, just outside the Linkage Center in January
London Breed, mayor of San Francisco, in an interview with a reporter at her office in City Hall on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022 in San Francisco, CA. Mayor Breed is the 45th mayor of the City and County of San Francisco
Frustration with San Francisco’s decline has intensified in recent months, with the ejection of Boudin and, in February, the recall of three members of the city’s school board, who were accused of putting progressive politics over the needs of children during the pandemic.
Asian Americans have staged protests and disrupted traffic, angered by cops failing to protect them and prosecute hate crimes, particularly against elderly members of the city’s sizeable community.
The merchants’ association for the Castro neighborhood last month said it would withhold business taxes until city agencies improved their response to fighting a crime wave and homelessness.
A San Francisco resident identified as J. Terrell last week captured footage of a mob of homeless drug addicts brawling amid trash in the SoMa neighborhood and shared the evening scene on social media.
‘I love going for long walks and passing by this every single day in my hood. Love the smell of crack and poop,’ he wrote sarcastically on Twitter.
The attached footage shows two homeless men on the ground fighting as a third man is seen whacking the shirtless addict with a broom as the bystanders stand around watching the fracas unfazed by the bizarre chaos.
The viral video has now garnered more than 5.3 million views.
During the anarchy, a dog is barking incessantly at the pair wrestling on the ground as another person is seen snagging a pair of sneakers and placing them in a plastic bag before walking away.
A mob of homeless drug addicts are seen brawling on a San Francisco street amid trash and squalid conditions as city officials call for blue sky ‘ideas’ to fix its open air drug market problem