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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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San Francisco officials reduce tent city to dirt

November 03 2012
An eviction, a fire and a big new fence for San Fransisco’s ‘Caltrain’

San Franciscan officials and the US army evicted 50 homeless people from their Caltrain tent city on 28 August, reducing the site to dirt.

Some people were told that they should take only what they could carry or wheel away, while others were simply told to get out.

The local highway patrol said remaining possessions were stored and tagged pending retrieval, but residents reported workers removing their things and throwing them away.

Once all the officials and newspapermen tired of the site and left, residents began to filter back.

However, a fire broke out in one of the homemade shelters a few weeks later. Although no one was hurt and the flames were swiftly put out by firefighters, neighbours were rattled and discussions about the camp flared again.

Now Caltrain station, which owns the property, has requested bids to erect an iron fence, designed to keep the homeless off it.

Jennifer Friedenbach, director of the Coalition on Homelessness, believes the fence is unnecessary, insisting the site supports a community that includes school children and the disabled with no reported incidents of health or hygiene concerns.

Ms Friedenbach commended campers for the beautiful garden they grew on the site.

“From our perspective, these people have nowhere to go so they’re basically displacing people who are in an emergency situation to the streets and forcing them to experience further crises,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle.