According to Business Insider, residents call the city hotline about 65 times a day to report piles of human feces on streets and sidewalks. City officials are hoping to implement better response efforts by employing a team of five from the Department of Public Works to hit up the streets and alleys to clean piles of poop before citizens have a chance to complain about them.
“I will say there is more feces on the sidewalks than I’ve ever seen growing up here,” Mayor London Breed told NBC. “That is a huge problem, and we are not just talking about from dogs — we’re talking about from humans.”
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San Francisco apparently gets 65 reports of human poop littering streets and alleys every day. https://t.co/fndRivqiDP
— VICE (@VICE) August 15, 2018
But the feces piling up on sidewalks reflects a symptom of a much broader issue; the city’s housing crisis.
More than 7,400 people are homeless in the city largely due to a shortage of affordable housing.
“The median two-bedroom rent of $3,090 is more than double the national average of $1,180, and a report earlier this year found that only 12% of families in the city can afford to buy a home there.” – Business Insider.
“We’re trying to be proactive,” explained Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru about Poop Patrol. “We’re actually out there looking for it.”
Earlier this year, residents demanded that the city remove “sh*t, poop and excrement” from public areas.
“[A] homeless encampment is blocking [the] sidewalk and creates a health hazard [with] trash and feces. Please move them, and send a cleaning crew. Sidewalk is impassable, forcing pedestrians into the street,” read one municipal complaint.