San Francisco Main Library Adds Security, Custodians To Address Homeless Issue

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Officials with San Francisco’s Main Library at Civic Center Plaza said they have been making headway in tackling problems involving some of the city’s homeless, who use the facility every day.

According to the library, challenges have ranged from filthy restrooms, to people sleeping at tables, drug use, and crime.

Michael, who did not give his last name, told KCBS that he comes to the library just about every day. Lately it has been to get out of the cold, but Michael said also likes to use the free internet.

He said he would like to spend his days being more productive, but that the city won’t come to his aid.

“I’ve tried to access services and I’ve been told I’m not drunk enough, depressed enough and I’m not a drug user, so therefore they don’t have anything for me,” Michael said.

Like hundreds of other homeless, he comes here to hang out with the works of Shakespeare, Hemmingway and Tom Clancy, but this has historically created problems.

Louis Herrera, the city librarian, said the city has added extra security and more custodians and he is seeing a difference.

“We’ve seen a significant drop in the number of incidents; actually, to be factual here, 32 percent over the last two years,” Herrera said.

The city can’t kick out the homeless since it is a public library, but Herrera said they are determined to make it a safe, clean place for everybody.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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