It appears the president is considering diving into one of the Bay Area’s biggest issues: homelessness.
In a Washington Post report, four government officials confirmed President Donald Trump ordered them to begin developing a plan to sweep up California’s homeless and move them into government-run facilities.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed says she’s not opposed to the move, and at least one business owner says it needs to happen now.
While the president’s latest order may be new, San Francisco’s homeless problem has been a talking point for a while.
“What’s happening in San Francisco, it’s terrible, and we may have to intercede,” Trump told Fox News during a July 2 interview.
The Post reported federal officials are discussing plans for homeless sweeps.
“Nice. I welcome the opportunity to get as much federal support to provide opportunities for affordable housing,” Breed said.
But Breed added there’s a reason to be skeptics, noting federal funds would be quite a change since federal resources to help the poor and homeless have been substantially cut under the Trump administration.
At the Harvest Urban supermarket, store owner Gil Desaulnier says any help is needed and fast.
“There’s no facility in SF where people can do drugs, be under some kind of supervision and care and get it off the street and try and get them help,” Desaulnier said. “But this is a free-for-all.”
Desaulnier says just last week he and a few employees had to jump in after his sister was attacked by a homeless man.
“We were all holding him until the police came, and then he twisted his head and bit me through my clothes,” Desaulnier said. “It’s the second time I’ve been bit in the last six months.”
His sister says it’s time to get out of the neighborhood.
“You know, I was talking with my brother, and we’re probably going to shut down because we’re scared,” Marian Desaulnier said.
Breed said the Desaulniers need to be patient. Help is coming.
“Just hold on. We are working towards trying resolve the issue,” Breed said. “It will take some time, but we would ask for patience.”
To the Desaulniers, the promise of federal help seems like someone is hearing them. But homeless advocates say the Trump administration has actually made the homeless problem worse by cutting programs including a proposal to cut 20 percent of the budget for housing and urban development.
This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Trump-Administration-Planning-Homeless-Sweeps-in-California-Report-559980431.html.