The following message is from D7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar’s office.
Dear Sunnyside Neighbors,
We have been receiving numerous phone calls from Sunnyside neighbors about the RVs parked on Circular Avenue. So I would like to address you publicly as a group.
As soon as we heard the complaint, we reached out to the Homeless Services Department to make contact with the RV dwellers and also the Dept of Public Works to check on the cleanliness of the area. We just learned that they overlooked our email back in early February, but scheduled an outreach visit as of 2/24/22 and would keep us updated. We are awaiting a status report of what both departments experienced. During the pandemic, the SFMTA Board of Directors voted to suspend overnight parking rules in reaction to the hardships that the pandemic caused as people lost their jobs and housing. The shelter system was also stressed due to a need for social distancing and limited options.
Our district has the second highest population of residents living in cars behind District 10. For perspective there are 140 vehicles near Lake Merced that we need to find permanent solutions for along with RVs also scattered in more residential neighborhoods. Simply pushing the RVs to another neighborhood does not solve the crisis.You may have read about the Vehicle Stabilization Center in Bayview, but that site filled up instantly and still left out many of D10’s RV population. Our office has been desperately trying to establish a similar site in our district that could host RV dwellers and connect them with more permanent services. The logistics of finding unused space large enough and with infrastructure that can support the community has been a difficult one. We must coordinate many different departments each with their own concerns in making it viable. But rest assured our office will not give up.
Living in your vehicle is different from what we classically think of as “homelessness.” Our current homeless service system is not designed to address this growing population. Many of the folks living in vehicles in District 7 are families with children. If your vehicle is your transportation, your shelter, and your child’s home, you aren’t going to want to readily give it up to accept entry into an emergency shelter where you will sleep on the floor with your children. Your RV is your most important asset and is what is keeping you and/or your family from sleeping on the street. Many roads have led people to where they are, and there is no one solution will fit all, but I acknowledge that this is a dilemma which affects us all.
It is the goal of the D7 office to find permanent housing for RV dwellers, to free up the right-of-way and support the health of the neighborhoods. Two years ago, the voters of San Francisco approved additional funding to include this population, and we are optimistic that these resources will lead to programming and resources that are specifically targeted and effective.
If you need assistance with anything, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try our very best to assist you.