A flood of homeless people have been descending on San Francisco International Airport (SFO) for temporary shelter, “especially in the early morning hours after the last BART train has pulled into the airport,” according to KTVU.
An airport official said they’re working on a short term and long-term solution
Officials said their contacts with homeless people has surged; the airport already working to get them move along. –KTVU
“We might make SamTrans tokens available to them,” said SFO spokesman Doug Yakel. “We might, if they’re eligible, transport them to a nearby homeless shelter, if BART is still running we can give them a token to a BART train.”
“Ultimately we want to develop advocacy that finds the proper channels for these individuals,” Yakel added, noting that the airport is looking for a long-term solution. “So, we’re starting to reach out to homeless advocacy in San Mateo County. We’re looking to set up something with the city of San Francisco as well.”
Jennifer Freidenbach of the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness says this comes as no surprise, as there is a massive lack of affordable housing in the city.
“I mean, there’s just nowhere else for people to go,” said Friedenbach. “So, we’re going to see them at the airport, we’re going to see them on the busses we’re going to see them out. There’s just literally nowhere else for people to go.
As KTVU noted earlier this month, the Bay Area’s homeless crisis is among the nation’s worst, and would require $12.7 billion in funding to build enough housing to meet their needs, according to one estimate.
A report from the Bay Area Council Economic Institute revealed that the Bay Area’s homeless population is over 28,000 strong – the third largest in the US behind New York and Los Angeles.
“This is not a problem for social services. It is not a problem for govt. It is a problem for every sector of our society including the private sector,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
It found that two-thirds of homeless people are unsheltered, living in cars or on the streets. That’s double the national average.
“It’s like a city of people who are without shelter,” said Jim Wunderman, executive director of the Bay Area Council.
If gathered in one place, the report found the homeless population would be as large or larger than that of roughly half the cities in the region.
The report found that homelessness is such a massive problem each city can no longer try to tackle it on its own. –KTVU
According to Jim Wunderman, executive director of the Bay Area Council, “We failed at every level to build enough homes. The lack of tending to it over decades has created a tremendous problem.”