Nearly half of San Francisco drug users are visitors, fueling debate on aid to poor and addicted

Trending 3 months ago

Nearly half of nan individuals cited for supplier usage successful San Francisco complete a 12-month play ending successful February were not residents of nan city, according to a study released Thursday that sparked a statement complete really to attraction for mediocre and drug-addicted group successful 1 of nan nation’s astir progressive cities.

That information led to speculation from nan mayor’s agency and friends that maltreatment of free money offered to low-income residents was driving constituent abusers to nan Bay Area. But San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin called nan statistic released by nan agency of Mayor London Breed “highly suspect” and said nan study was a cynical effort to onslaught nan city’s nationalist information net.

San Francisco constabulary cited 718 individuals for supplier usage betwixt March 30, 2023, and Feb. 2, 2024, pinch 47% of nan violators stating “they reside successful different region aliases declined to say,” according to Breed’s office. A flimsy mostly of nan citations were fixed to violators who identified themselves arsenic San Franciscans.

Of that group, 20% aliases 141 were recipients of a authorities assistance programme intended for San Francisco residents. The mayor’s agency said that astir 33% of those 141 people, however, were not residents and “self-disclosed they lived extracurricular of San Francisco.”

“These numbers service arsenic impervious that we must proceed doubling down our efforts to unopen down our supplier markets that are attracting group to travel here,” Breed said successful a statement.

She added that local, authorities and national rule enforcement agencies person accrued supplier seizures and arrests complete nan past year.

“We can’t fto up until those dealing narcotics and utilizing them openly connected nan thoroughfare understand that San Francisco is closed for this type of activity,” Breed said.

Drug usage and overdose deaths person been an expanding problem successful San Francisco successful caller months, drafting harsh disapproval from blimpish politicians and others who blasted lax constabulary enforcement and nan city’s wide societal use policies.

But since May, Breed said supplier enforcement has been directed astatine nan high-crime Tenderloin and South of Market, aliases SOMA, areas.

Law enforcement agencies made much than 2,000 arrests for supplier income aliases usage successful nan Tenderloin area, while seizing 260 pounds of fentanyl, according to metropolis figures.

Last week, San Francisco constabulary narcotics detectives arrested 4 individuals and confiscated 44 pounds of drugs, including 32 pounds of methamphetamine.

Breed’s agency added that location person been 350 illicit constituent maltreatment arrests successful 2 months this year, not counting busts made by nan Drug Enforcement Administration.

These arrests person led to a roar successful tribunal activity, pinch 827 felony narcotics cases revenge by nan territory lawyer retired of a full of 952 presented past twelvemonth done Dec. 14.

Those numbers topped nan 2018 region grounds of 880 cases presented and 731 cases filed.

“These numbers further corroborate that San Francisco is excessively often a destination for supplier tourism, and why Mayor Breed’s efforts to dismantle open-air supplier scenes and clasp wide assistance recipients accountable to activity supplier curen erstwhile it’s medically indicated are perfectly necessary,” Supervisor Matt Dorsey, whose territory includes SOMA, said successful a statement.

Breed and others person speculated that 1 logic down nan soaring supplier arrests is San Francisco’s County Adult Assistance Program, aliases CAAP.

Each California region is required to supply support for low-income residents via rate and services. One specified assistance programme is CAAP, which offers San Francisco residents a $712 monthly rate grant, according to Trent Rhorer, Executive Director of nan San Francisco Human Services Agency.

“These payer dollars are intended to supply short-term support to meet basal needs for San Francisco’s poorest residents, not for group who unrecorded successful different counties... and surely not for immoderate recipient to acquisition and usage forbidden drugs,” Rhorer said successful a statement.

HSA presently requires impervious of residency successful San Francisco for a minimum of 15 days, “but unluckily group return advantage and supply mendacious accusation erstwhile applying,” nan mayor’s agency noted. During nan process of applying for nan aid, applicants can’t beryllium nether nan power of drugs. But it is not clear if recipients are tested for forbidden supplier usage aft getting nan funding.

“This information shows america that we request to redouble our efforts to forestall this use fraud moving forward,” Rhorer said.

Peskin, whose territory includes Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square, blasted nan lodging services agency, saying it grounded “to fulfill this baseline work for years” of vetting residency for CAAP eligibility. He besides accused nan mayor’s study of including “highly fishy data.”

“[This] is yet different limb successful this administration’s arsenal of cynicism to manipulate genuine concerns that group person astir nan staggering number of overdose deaths connected our streets,” Peskin said successful a statement.

Peskin said nan statistic return purpose astatine “safety nett programs for illustration nationalist assistance” that should beryllium “protected and invested in.”

He said nan information raises questions astir nan mayor’s expertise to lead and nan HSA’s functionality, asking “how tin we spot them” if Breed and nan HSA “can’t moreover do nan basics of their jobs.”

Kanishka Cheng, CEO and laminitis of TogetherSF Action, a nonprofit geared astatine expanding civic engagement, said nan city’s societal information nett “is a important look of our wide values.”

Yet, nan deficiency of city-sponsored curen for those battling supplier maltreatment and a deficiency of enforcement of rules complete who is awarded nan grants has ended up “sponsoring out-of-towners’ deadly nationalist supplier use.”

“This is simply a losing business for everyone,” Cheng said. “Residents successful SF are fed up pinch nan supplier crisis. We request to find mediate ground, immediate, and realistic solutions, alternatively than voting according to ideology.”

Source latimes