San Francisco Cannot Clear Out Homeless Encampments, Judge Rules

Los Angeles, CA - September 23: A view of a homeless encampment on Skid Row on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. A federal appeals court on Thursday unanimously overturned a a judge's decision that would have required Los Angeles to offer some form of shelter or housing to the entire homeless population of skid row by October. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

At a glance

  • San Francisco cannot clear out its ubiquitous homeless encampments because it hasn’t offered shelter to their inhabitants, a federal judge ruled Friday.
  • The city had been conducting sweeps in which it took the tents and belongings of homeless people living in the tent cities until Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu in the U.S. District Court in Oakland granted an emergency order barring the action, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The order was granted after a group of homeless plaintiffs sued to stop the city.
  • “Mayors cannot run cities this way,” Mayor London Breed said. “We already have too few tools to deal with the mental illness we see on our streets. Now we are being told not to use another tool that helps bring people indoors and keeps our neighborhoods safe and clean for our residents.”

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