SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco police have cleared a large group of homeless people they said had been squatting in a building in the city’s Oceanview neighborhood.
Around 7:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, police came to the abandoned church on Capitol Avenue and Broad Street , knocked on the door and identified themselves.
“We gave the people in there ample opportunity to leave. We gave them five minutes to leave,” said San Francisco Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Biel. “Anyone who wanted to leave, they did and 28 people exited the building with their three dogs.”
Police said they aren’t sure if more people stayed there previously.
The inside of the building was filled with filth and squalor, graffiti on the walls and half a dozen pot plants growing in a cupboard, with drug paraphernalia nearby.
The building’s owner, Ken Toy, said he’s been waiting to get a demolition permit, but in the meantime, homeless people moved in and they wouldn’t leave. He said the raid comes as a big relief. “Now I can re-secure the building. But there’s no saying if they will come back,” he said.
All those who were detained were released except for two people who were arrested – one for an outstanding warrants and the other for resisting arrest.
Authorities said they believe the group had been squatting in the building for months.
Officials are working on clearing the building and will tell those they forced out where they can pick up their belongings.
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