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San Rafael Homeless Feel Discriminated Over Police ‘Hot Zones’ Maps

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Downtown San Rafael (City of San Rafael)

Downtown San Rafael (City of San Rafael)

JEFFREY%20SCHAUB Jeffrey Schaub
Jeffrey Schaub is a Bay Area broadcast news veteran. From 1990 to 201...
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SAN RAFAEL (KCBS)— San Rafael police, along with St. Vincent de Paul, are distributing maps asking transients to stay away from several “Hot Zones” where there have been numerous complaints from merchants about homeless people.

Some of the homeless have spoken out and said they’re being unfairly targeted, but merchants depict them as “drunken and volatile.”

“San Rafael is a city of rather wealthy people and they don’t wish to see the disparity of income level,” said John, a street person.

Some of the homeless said police are harassing them by pulling up onto the sidewalks and going the wrong way on the streets.

Suzanne Walker with the St. Vincent dePaul Society of Marin said she actually worked with police to draw up the maps. They show three areas to avoid, including 4th and B, 4th and A, as well as 910 Lincoln.

She said it’s a few bad apples that are spoiling the bunch.

“It’s not a homeless problem. It’s an alcohol or addiction problem or a mental health issue, and people acting out in public. and that’s being blamed on our homeless community,” she said.

Police have said they can’t prevent the homeless from gathering in the so-called hot-spots and are only asking for cooperation.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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