San Francisco recently hosted the Dreamforce Convention, a mega event that injected an estimated $57 million into the city’s economy. However, the success of the convention was not without concerns about the city’s image, specifically regarding homelessness and drug use. In response to these concerns, Mayor London Breed assured that the city has not had any issues hosting conventions in the past, but acknowledged that efforts to clean up and improve the city’s appearance have been more intense than ever before.
During the convention, the streets near Moscone Center in the South of Market neighborhood, which are typically filled with tents and homeless individuals, appeared noticeably cleaner and safer. This was a result of efforts to relocate many of the unhoused people to areas further away from the convention site. Some homeless individuals expressed their feelings of being segregated and displaced due to the convention.
The cleanliness of the streets during Dreamforce was noted by Marc Benioff, the organizer of the convention, who mentioned it in a conversation with Governor Gavin Newsom. However, this temporary improvement does not resolve the larger issue of homelessness in San Francisco. In 2017, there were approximately 6,858 homeless individuals in the city, a number that has slightly decreased in recent years but remains high.
The homeless crisis in San Francisco has been further exacerbated by the rise of fentanyl, a deadly drug that has taken a toll on those trying to escape homelessness. The city is also facing a record number of overdose deaths this year. These challenges highlight the urgency for accountability and action from city officials to address the underlying causes of homelessness and drug addiction.
Looking ahead, San Francisco will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in a few months, bringing together global leaders, including President Biden. The city’s ability to present itself as safe and clean during this high-profile event is crucial for its reputation. However, the true test lies in creating lasting change and sustainable solutions to homelessness and drug addiction.
– Source Article: ABC7 News San Francisco