San Francisco, once known as the jewel of West Coast is now being compared to one of the dirtiest slums in the world. This is a result of liberal policies encouraging illegal drug use and welcoming the homeless. However, finally the city has announced the creation of ‘Poop Patrol’ to deal with the No. 1 problem of SF which is “No. 2” and no I am not ashamed of the shitty pun. Yes, I did it again.
The ’Poop Patrol’ have to scour the Tenderloin neighborhood, where nearly half of the city’s homeless population is located. Since the beginning of this year, the city has received upwards of 14,000 calls on its 311 helpline complaining about feces on the road. The city is finally tired of being the butt of national jokes and has decided to fight back.
Starting this month, a supervisor and a 5 man crew of Public Services is going to roam around, equipped with a steam cleaner in order to sanitize the streets. The full budget allocated to the initiative is $830,000. “What we are trying to do is be proactive,” said Director of Public Works Mohammed Nuru. ”So we’ll have a crew that will roam around looking for locations. We actually have data for neighborhoods where we get frequent calls.”
As a member of the ‘Poop Patrol’ workers are set to earn $71,760 a year, plus an additional $112,900 in benefits such as healthcare and retirement, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. That’s almost $185,000 a year for cleaning up feces from the streets, so you can imagine the magnitude of the problem.
As SF is facing a shortage of affordable housing, it is struggling to accommodate its 7,500 homeless citizens. This is in contrast to an average resident earning $96,000, or double the median household income in the US. This shows the disparity between the rich and poor in San Francisco.
Unfortunately, the Poop Patrol spraying turd of the streets is not an actual solution. The city needs to solve the root of the problem, which is horrendous building regulations and lack of public toilets. Hence, the Pit Stop program has extended its services from only the Poop Patrol. It has also decided to install toilets around the city. However, the toilets are open only during the day because apparently homeless people don’t go to the bathroom at night.
Though SF Mayor London Breed has promised to clean the streets within three months of her inauguration, the real challenge will take many years to address.
By Abhishek Aggarwal