An order by San Francisco authorities for homeless people to vacate a sidewalk tent city has seemingly gone ignored, with the 5 p.m. deadline seeing only a few people move on elsewhere, according to Fox News. Those living in the tents had been given 72 hours to move out after city officials deemed the space a health hazard and it attracted complaints from nearby residents.
The encampment, which is located nearby a Costco and car dealerships, appeared to take little notice of the order to disperse and remained in place on Friday afternoon, with city authorities having yet to state what further action they will take. Around 50 tents were the target of the order, which was declared "a public nuisance" with "accumulation of garbage, human feces, hypodermic needles, urine odors" and other sanitation issues given as justification, The New York Times reported.
The standoff is the latest in the battle between authorities and San Francisco's homeless population, which numbers around 6,000 people and was recently the focus of an open letter to mayor Ed Lee that went viral. A homeless couple, Heather Brown and Travis Perot, left the area earlier on Friday in order to avoid losing their tents if city authorities did sweep the area, according to The San Francisco Gate.
"Everyone is scattering. It's either a tent or no roof at all," Brown said, adding that police ordered them to leave without offering another place to go. "They pushed us this way. They pushed us out into the open."
Some of those displaced by the order are being encouraged by city authorities to move into a nearby canopy shelter with 150 sleeping mats, according to ABC News. It is unknown what will happen to those that choose to remain, although Rachael Kagan, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Health, stated that enforcement would be done "on a case-by-case basis."