San Francisco city officials presented their case about clearing homeless encampments on Wednesday before three federal judges. This legal battle originates from the city’s appeal against an order that temporarily prohibits the removal of homeless encampments.
Currently, the order prevents the city from clearing encampments whenever the homeless population surpasses the available shelter bed capacity.
A crowd gathered for a rally before the court case. While many in attendance rallied behind the city’s efforts, others called for maintaining the existing injunction. They expressed concerns about human rights and the treatment of unhoused individuals.
“What we are trying to do with this lawsuit is get the city to stop abusing people’s basic rights. We are trying to get them to stop illegally confiscating property and criminalizing them when they have no choice but to be on the streets,” said Jennifer Friedenbach, Executive Director of the Coalition on Homelessness.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed expressed frustration at the legal constraints, arguing the court’s interference hampers the city’s capacity to provide safer environments for those experiencing homelessness.
“The fact that the courts have crippled our ability to do our job to help get people into shelter is criminal,” she said.
As the legal proceedings continue, the outcome remains uncertain. City leaders continue to debate the injunction, and San Franciscans remain divided on the issue.