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San Francisco Residents Using ‘Snitch App’ To Report Homeless People To Authorities

The city of San Francisco is praising an addition to their “311” mobile application that is supposed to help the city deal with its growing homeless population. But the app is already under heavy criticism by anti-gentrification groups who say its unnecessary to report the homeless for interacting with the public, or for simply existing.

Under Mayor Ed Lee’s watch, San Francisco’s homeless population has skyrocketed, increasing from 200 to a total of just under 7000. The app has already led to reports of a supposedly “violent person” who was gone by the time police arrived on the scene, and the reporting of a homeless camp to the police.

While the city maintains the app is not meant to criminalize homelessness, the San Francisco Coalition On Homelessness called the city’s app “silly” and “counter-productive,” suggesting that it was made for residents to “complain about each other.”

“it should be driven by need, not by complaints,” said spokesman Bob Offer-Westort.

San Francisco’s Public Health Department has hailed the 311 app as a “lifeline” and asserted that every individual has “a right to care.” The Department of Public Health may show up, but the Police Department are potential responders as well.

The average rent in San Francisco is $4,000 a month, an amount that very few people can afford, let alone a homeless person just starting work at a low-wage job. To afford just a one or two-bedroom apartment, someone would have to be paid between $30 to $40 dollars an hour.

In response, Darcel Jackson is working on his own application, called “see/me.” His app will provide an updated list of resources for homeless people in need, and connect people to social programs that will help them navigate the harsh realities of capitalism and gentrification which have left so many people homeless in San Francisco.

 Source: By Joshua Sabatini; San Francisco Examiner