1. I’ve been living in SF since 2006 and homelessness has always been bad and very perceptible. So in a sense, what you’re experiencing has been the case even before 2021 for a long time. What’s bad though is that before the pandemic, SF was a city of trade offs: although it had a lot of problems with petty crime and homelessness, the bars were full, conventions were held weekly, the downtown happy hours were bustling, lots of energy in downtown, lots of young people doing activities, and more businesses were opening than closing. Now, all of the positive things are going away now.
So yeah, all the negative stuff about SF is known for like petty crimes and homelessness isn’t getting any worse, but the positive stuff has gotten a lot worse which makes the negative stuff harder to digest.
2. I moved here in 2021 because it had been a lifelong goal of mine to live in SF. I love this city with all of my heart. I love the parks, the community, the architecture, everything!! My friends get annoyed with how much I hype SF up. When rent plummeted during COVID, I could finally afford to move into the city (from LA) and did so swiftly. I’ve only ever REALLY known SF post-COVID. I’ve seen my neighborhood of North Beach slowly open back up and things return back “to normal”… so it seems.
But this past year has been hard. My moped was stolen, I’ve had homeless people harass me, and walking around downtown makes me genuinely sad. This morning I woke up to a homeless man asleep on my porch for the first time ever, and when I tried to leave my house he screamed at me. I can’t tell if i’ve been listening to too much news (re: doom loop and closing stores) or if things are genuinely worse than they’ve ever been.
3. Native here. Born and raised. SF had a huge growth burst at the start of the dot com boom. Buildings went up and the city changed a lot. But growing up the homeless stayed in what is now south of market. There were tenement hotels and old warehouses. Lots of “winos” in the tenderloin too. But when the build up in south of market happened, the homeless were dispersed to other parts of the city. Then rents went up everywhere so it became difficult for folks earning a basic income to afford the city. Then lots of new people came in for the new jobs and here we are. But this happened in other big cities too.
I still remember the peep show venues on market street! Growing up in the 70s here was challenging because the mayor was assassinated so there was a very dark time for the city. Then the AIDS crisis hit SF hard. My point is that the city always recovered. Sorry for my rambling post.
4. Had my moped stolen a month ago (Oakland) and I’ve been here (SF/OAK) since 2014. IMO the drug use and urine problem is the same, but property and personal crime is crazy right now. Drivers too, fucking lawless. Honestly glad I don’t have my moped anymore. It became a hassle riding around Oakland.
5. I’ve been living here for 30+ years and here’s my take:
The city selling out to tech drove all the prices sky-high between 2010 and 2020, pricing out most people who aren’t doing tech or finance for a living. The people who can afford to stay have a big “I got mine” attitude, and pressure to survive is extremely intense. There are practically no jobs in SF that pay a living wage anymore outside of tech.
So interesting people are gone (artists, chefs, performers, craftsmen, etc) and, the city’s culture these days is more bland than I’ve ever seen it.
Homelessness is more visible and disruptive than it was in the past, both because there are more homeless than ever (numerically), and the cheap price of opioids means they can afford to be blitzed 24/7.
The city can’t legally do anything about it without changing policies (311, police, services, all worthless) so it’s spilled all over town. Soma is more trashed and overrun by addicts than I could have ever imagined possible.
Property crime is also worse than I’ve ever seen it (break-ins, daylight muggings, destruction of property), probably because the police have their hands full pushing the city’s thousands of homeless drug addicts from hood to hood. Police don’t feel like prosecuting crimes even when you doxx the perp, and provide video evidence of them committing a felony against you (personal experience)
6. I was born and raised here, and I’m looked down upon because I consider myself liberal. Twenty years ago, they decided that wasn’t good enough, and the only truly good people were Progressive. This sort of semantic silliness is one of the reasons nothing gets done here.
Everybody is too busy making every “solution” (and I use that term incredibly loosely) is kind and fair to everyone involved so that no one can be offended, that no criminal gets punished, no drug addict stops stealing to fund drug-taking or stops taking drugs, and the homeless’ rights to use other people’s property for open-air hotels and toilets are never infringed upon. They forgot that our right to live in a safe neighborhood and keep our property deserves to be preserved too, to say nothing of the right to walk on streets free of urine, fecal matter, and junkies.
You’d think, since we’re the ones who actually vote, they’d care about our rights. Maybe we should make the mayor, supervisors, police chief, D.A., and Progressive leaders tour the TL for an hour and then see what ideas they come up with. Or maybe we should make voters actually read the voter information pamphlet before they vote for another solution that makes things worse.
7. I live in Sacramento. I visit SF about every other week because of family and I love the Bay Area in general.
I really feel like San Francisco needs an outsider’s perspective to tell them how bad it is. It’s more or less lawless and the authorities are corrupt. I say that as a Democrat and someone who wants to see the city succeed. Local officials are corrupt through their negligence. They don’t give a FUCK about you. You’re living in their social experiment.
San Franciscans scoff at other people when they tell them that they need to take ownership of their city and start looking out for their own area, street, block whatever like people do in other cities. You can’t be letting people shoot up fentanyl on your street or break into your neighbor’s car. You just can’t.
The more San Franciscans tolerate people screaming at them on their own porch instead of reacting with extreme anger and feeling violated and DOING something about it, the more dangerous it is for everybody. It’s not normal, guys. If someone was sleeping on my porch, I’d run them out of my neighborhood.
Not because I’m some big meanie, but because regular people elsewhere have learned not to tolerate that shit, and we don’t expect anyone to come save our asses. No one’s coming to save your asses, San Francisco. You have to stand up for yourself, your street, your home, your porch.
I know this is going to get a shitload of hate from everyone who resides in SF, but oh well. People in SF need to hear it. I love your city and I’m tired of it being such a dump.
8. I moved here from LA in 2006, just like you I fell in love with SF, perfect weather, cool events, made friends right away, etc. I also live in north beach and I have adored this neighborhood for the longest time.
One day back in 2015 I was attacked by a homeless man near 6th and mission, shortly after the attack I saw an SFPD officer and told him what had happened, he looked at me in disbelief and said: “were you buying?” I had a bloody eye and nose and he had the nerve to ask me that. That same day I went to the police station to report the incident and multiple cops told me that the assailant was going to be released right away. I was in shock. Went home with my black eye and broken nose and cried myself to sleep. The very next day I got a pepper spray keychain.
Years later my bike was stolen on Folsom and 9th. Ugh, it just sucks, SFPD does nothing and really their hands are tied! Basically user “bitchfucker-online” nailed it: “since prop 47 passed” and user “BOOMJAGGAJAGGA” also totally on point by saying: “you have to stand up for yourself, your street your home” — recently (2021) during a trip to NYC as I was riding the subway, saw a fentanyl/meth zombie about to make scene, a very distinguished young fella wearing a nice suit and tie stood up to the zombie who was screaming nonsense without a mask and was increasingly becoming violent and punching the windows… young man told him to “SHUT THE FUCK UP AND SIT DOWN!!” everyone applauded, it was beautiful. I wanted to ask him to move to SF, we need more people like him. I see people in SF walking by as others get assaulted, robbed… so much apathy.
If I need to shop I can’t do it here, I have to drive to Daly City/San Bruno because the shops here now close at 6pm or actually just completely! It’s super inconvenient to live here now and I don’t see the point anymore. I stay home most of the time but I am actively looking to buy a home in the South Bay and leave north beach, this is no way to live, my heart is broken but I’ll always cherish the good times in SF, on the plus side the weather is still pretty good.