Voters support measure banning tent encampments on sidewalks

San Francisco voters appear to have approved a controversial measure that expressly bans tent encampments on sidewalks and authorizes city officials to remove them 24 hours after offering shelter to homeless residents living in them.

Proposition Q was placed on the ballot by Supervisor Mark Farrell as residents and business owners were complaining about the proliferation of the encampments, such as in the Mission neighborhood.

Per the measure, San Francisco would expressly ban tent encampments and have the authority to remove them 24 hours after offering homeless residents living in them some form of shelter — the number of days of housing is not specified — and to offer to pay for bus tickets to send them to family or friends outside of San Francisco under The City’s Homeward Bound program.

Opponents argued the measure will only make life harder for homeless residents since there isn’t enough shelter for the thousands homeless on the streets, and said argued it promoted an anti-homeless sentiment instead of keeping a focus on helpful solutions. They also said Prop. Q is unnecessary since The City already has the power to remove tents.

The measure, which was largely funded by tech investors, was also decried as nothing more than a wedge issue, and further a move by Farrell to run as mayor come 2019.

Farrell has said the measure isn’t about his political aspirations but that it’s not right to let encampments remain on the streets. He described the encampments as places littered with feces and prone to prostitution rings.

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