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San Fran Fight Over Homeless Shelter Gets Nastier

Mayor shouted down by residents angry about plans to build it in their neighborhood
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2019 1:05 PM CDT
San Francisco Mayor London Breed in a file photo.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

(Newser) – San Francisco's mayor made a surprise appearance at a community meeting about a proposed homeless shelter, and the move seems to have only raised already hot tempers over the controversial project. Residents of the upscale Embarcadero neighborhood shouted down Mayor London Breed Wednesday, telling her to "go home," as she tried to address them, reports the San Francisco Examiner. “I was born and raised here, I am home,” responded Breed. “If you don’t want to hear me talk, then leave.” In the end, however, she opted to stop speaking because of the constant interruptions but said she would stay to listen. “My goal is not to put neighbor against neighbor and people against people," she said. "I am sorry this issue has divided this community."

As the Guardian explains, the controversy is over the city's plan to build a "navigation center" where homeless people would live while being plugged into social services designed to get them back on track. Residents of the affluent neighborhood don't want it in Embarcadero, and they even created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a legal fight. That prompted shelter supporters to start a competing GoFundMe campaign, which is out-earning the rival. Residents say they were upset at the meeting in part because of rules forbidding public comments. Many left en masse in protest, and the mayor's appearance apparently didn't help. One resident says people felt they were being lectured, not engaged with. The next big date is April 23, when the Port Commission will decide whether to lease a lot to the city for the shelter, per the San Francisco Chronicle. (Read more San Francisco stories.)

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