Governor Gavin Newsom expressed on Tuesday that the court mandate which stops San Francisco officials from removing homeless encampments is both "preposterous" and "inhumane."
The directive issued in December by U.S. Magistrate Donna Ryu put a stop to the city's endeavors to eliminate the majority of tent encampments within the urban area, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
In the realm of California's pressing homelessness crisis, prominent Democrats such as Gov. Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed find themselves shouldering a significant portion of responsibility for the widespread homeless encampments that line the state's streets.
Paradoxically, they have emerged as fervent proponents for the removal of these encampments, even taking their stance to the courtroom. This has positioned them in direct conflict with those who assert that their strategies for dismantling the encampments run afoul of the civil rights of homeless individuals.
“The San Francisco order, it’s preposterous and it’s inhumane,” Newsom said. “It’s incredibly frustrating.”
Last week during the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Breed argued against the ruling hamstringing city officials, “It is not humane to let people live on our streets in tents,” she yelled into a microphone. “We want a reversal of this injunction that makes it impossible for us to do our jobs.”
According to her statement, the city has allocated billions of dollars in the past few years to relocate thousands of individuals from the streets. She contended that the removal of tents constitutes a crucial component of the city's approach to addressing homelessness.
However, proponents of individuals residing on the streets assert that the city consistently breaches its own regulations when displacing encampments. Moreover, they highlight that the need for shelter consistently surpasses the available capacity.
In their legal challenge against the city, a coalition of individuals without homes and their supporters referenced numerous occurrences where authorities evacuated people from encampments sans providing proper avenues to shelter, an action deemed unlawful. Their case also featured substantiation of officials discarding or confiscating possessions of homeless individuals, such as items like tents, mobile phones, medicine, identification, and even prosthetic limbs.