homeless-in-cars complain: SF Police Commission head agrees to

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Tue, 17 Feb 1998 18:55:40 -0800 (PST)


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1998/02/12/MNR
4BA5.DTL
FWD  Bay Area Report -- San Francisco Chronicle  Feb 12, 1998  Page A26

S.F. MAY ALLOW HOMELESS TO LIVE IN CARS

The head of the San Francisco Police Commission agreed last
night to meet with homeless advocates to consider a proposal
under which San Francisco would be the first city in the nation to
allow people to legally live in their vehicles. Commission
President Pat Norman cautioned that she was acting on her own
and would not bring the matter back before the panel until she
meets with officials from the city attorney's office and Police
Department to determine what laws would have to be waived.
Norman made her announcement after more than a half dozen
people who live in their vehicles in China Basin told the
commission that since October, police have been aggressively
towing away their makeshift homes, taking everything they own.
Norman said the proposal to set up a place where people could
legally sleep in vehicles has the backing of Terrence Hill, Mayor
Willie Brown's coordinator on homelessness, and ``it's my
understanding that the mayor does support some plan.'' Brown
has yet to speak publicly about the proposal, and his office has
referred all questions to Hill, who has said the mayor has given
him permission to explore the possibility. But the idea has stalled
since last fall, when the mayor ordered police to break up
homeless encampments in Golden Gate Park in response to
criticism that his administration was not enforcing a law banning
overnight camping in parks. Norman said she would meet with
Judy Appel, an attorney for the Coalition on Homelessness, to
discuss the stalled proposal.

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