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Homeless in San Francisco

Baton Rouge...
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Homeless in San Francisco

I've been to San Francisco, NYC, and many other cities with homeless. I'm aware that it is an issue some places but typically more of just a eye sore or nuisance from a travelers perspective.

I am seeing news articles of a significant spike in homeless in San Francisco and issues with travelers being harassed.

Is this just just new media blowing it our of proportion? Should there be areas that I need to stay clear of if I rather miss this?

Seems that it is in the area between Chinatown, Civic Center, and Tenerloin.

Any info is appreciate.

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San Francisco...
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1. Re: Homeless in San Francisco

well yes the media tends to blow up things since SF is a considered a liberal city

We would not recommend going into the Tenderloin at night. Same applies to the civic center.

There are homeless around mainly in the touristy areas -- just mind your business and enjoy SF so yes there are an eyesore

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2. Re: Homeless in San Francisco

If you've been here before I don't think you'll notice much different.

<<Seems that it is in the area between Chinatown, Civic Center, and Tenerloin.>>

That's not exactly true. There's nothing wrong with Chinatown or its immediate surroundings. The Tenderloin is and has been a dicey area for decades. That area abuts Civic Center (the section near Market ... over toward Van Ness and Hayes Valley is fine).

There has been a lot of gentrification of areas that used to be more edgy. That has created some tensions with homeowners (who have paid big bucks to live in SF) and the homeless. And has gotten media attention. But that's not in parts of town that visitors usually flock to.

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Hayes Valley
Hayes Valley
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San Francisco, CA
San Francisco...
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3. Re: Homeless in San Francisco

This has come up a lot lately with threads like these, even though they don't have homeless in the title:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60713…

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60713…

Imo, there are a couple things to unpack here.

Are there more homeless vs some other time in the past? Yes, likely true. Homeless have been a problem here for the nearly 30 years I've lived on and off in the bay area and the numbers increase and decrease at different times. I honestly felt the problem was worse in 1991, the first time I lived here, but maybe I'm miss-remembering. Certainly many parts of town were less gentrified then, including a bunch of SoMa/south beach.

Are you going to get ruthlessly harassed, followed, attacked, etc by homeless people? I'd say that's not much different than it ever has been. There are probably always a very few homeless that will cause you grief and by far most will not. If you've ever dealt with being around homeless or begging people in other cities, you'll likely be fine here. Avoid engaging and move along when you see homeless ahead, are asked for money or some suspicious person acts like they're your new best friend (they aren't).

Also news media do love to get some hysterics going because it gets them the ratings they crave.

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SoMa
SoMa
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San Francisco, CA
Baton Rouge...
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4. Re: Homeless in San Francisco

I should have included. Last time I was in San Francisco was 2010.

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San Francisco
San Francisco
California
Pleasant Hill...
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5. Re: Homeless in San Francisco

I have never been bothered by the homeless in san francisco. I have lived here since 1975 and worked downtown for thirty years.

Baton Rouge...
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6. Re: Homeless in San Francisco

holodan thanks or the links. I will check those out. I searched but didn't find much earlier.

Everyone else, Thanks for the info. I figured it was blown out of proportion. I think we are going to be around the bay/warf area anyway for the most part.

Thanks again. Always such a great asset to ask the Trip Advisor crowd.

Edited: July 06, 2018, 3:04 am
Down Under
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7. Re: Homeless in San Francisco

I'm probably looking at the city with rose coloured glasses but it doesn't look any different to me very recently than it did 20 years ago.

San Leandro...
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8. Re: Homeless in San Francisco

In the Tenderloin things can be very bad and you'll find all manners of dirty things on the streets, but there is no reason why a tourist would ever go there nor need to go there. Chinatown is very nice and you'll be sure to have a blast there.

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9. Re: Homeless in San Francisco

There are some very good dining options in the Tenderloin (many are Vietnamese but not all). Many are reasonably priced too -- probably because their rents are less than other parts of town. But, if for a bit of an adventuresome traveler, the area shouldn't be completely overlooked. It's not dangerous during the day. I would cab or Uber at night.

Fremont, California
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10. Re: Homeless in San Francisco

It depends in part also what you are used to. Some of the reviews you will read will say this is an issue.

If you are used to dealing with homeless, you will be most likely be just fine.

Don't engage - don't donate (better to donate to a charitable organization if you are so inclined.)

The issue is covered also on our local news (not just the national news). The new mayor plans to address these concerns.

Hopefully you are not renting a car, but if you are - remember to take everything into your hotel room.

Smash and grabs can happen and have been reported by some visitors even when just going in to check into a hotel.

So practice your street smarts and have a great time.

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