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Crosscurrents

What happens when you call 311 on a homeless encampment?

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Jessica Christian
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Courtesy SF Weekly
San Francisco police approaching a homeless encampment.

In San Francisco,  you can call 311 to file a complaint with many city departments, including Housing and Homeless Resources. So, for example, if you’re concerned about a homeless person or encampment in your neighborhood, you’d call 311. Each month around 4,000 complaints are filed about homelessness in the city.

After the calls are made, a city coalition called Healthy Streets Operation Center is supposed to take it from there. But what actually happens after those calls are made caught the attention of SF Weekly reporter and editor Nuala Sawyer. She recently investigated the homelessness complaint system and published the article, City’s Response to 311 Homeless Calls Under Fire, for the paper.

She joined KALW's Hana Baba to talk about what she found.