The left-leaning leaders of San Francisco have secretly begun to import unsafe homeless residents into our unsuspecting neighborhood. My Nob Hill apartment in San Francisco is near the historic Mark Hopkins Hotel. There are other famous structures about, such as the Pacific Union Club that survived the 1906 earthquake and the beautiful Grace Cathedral with its elementary school tucked next door. It’s quintessential San Francisco. 

We have just learned from reporter, Erica Sandberg, in the New York Post that on a recent morning a disheveled, visibly disturbed man ran frantically around the lobby of the Mark Hopkins hotel. As one of that city’s designated Front-Line Worker Housing (FLWH) hotels, it’s supposed to be reserved for health-care and public-safety employees who look after our COVID-19 needs. 

But San Francisco is surreptitiously placing unscreened homeless people in luxury hotels by designating these homeless as our emergency front-line workers, a clear departure from the term that the broader community understands to mean doctors, nurses and similar professionals.

If neighborhood residents, like myself, were more aware of the influx of these new guests, who frequently suffer from drug addiction and severe mental illness as well as having criminal backgrounds, we would would vocally object to the thoughtlessness and deceit. 

Knowing residents object, San Francisco’s leftist leaders have evoked emergency-disaster laws to keep the information private! Officials refuse to notify us about what is happening in our community; they have blocked the press by withholding the list of hotels and prevented reporters from entering the properties

Meanwhile, chaos is erupting inside and around the hotels. City and hotel workers are required to sign nondisclosure agreements and are forbidden from discussing what they’re seeing. Per the Mayor’s Declaration of Emergency, speaking out can result in a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment with a maximum sentence of one year, or both.

Rooms are rented at close to $200 per night, totaling $6,000 a month—nearly double the cost of a private one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco. The city-sponsored guests also receive personal grooming, sanitary and cleaning supplies, three delivered meals, and laundry service for clothes and linens. Contracts last between 90 days and two years; by that point, the guests may be able to claim de facto permanent residence.

In the end, the wildly expensive hotel plan is unlikely to help most homeless individuals achieve self-sufficient lives and won’t elevate the city’s most destitute districts....That’s not surprising, since change is not likely until the city disallows tents completely, abandons its hands-off drug-dealing and usage policies, and commits to treating people with addiction issues and mental illness — not giving them hotel rooms.

Erica Sandberg, June 27, 2020, adapted from The New York Post and City Journal.