By Betty Yu

SAN FRANCISO (KPIX) – Residents in Mission Bay say the problem of homeless encampments, particularly on the backside of the Caltrain station on King Street, has worsened in just the last few weeks.

It’s hard to miss the growing mix of tents, junk, and trash covering the sidewalk leading to I-280 South.

“I am not happy with it, actually it’s getting worse and more people, homeless people there and stands and bicycles,” said Iryna Fedorchuk.

Tanner Fornesi also lives in the neighborhood.

“I drive to work at 5 o’clock every morning to south city and sometimes a lot of people are already awake and in the street,” he said. “Little nerve-wracking going to hit anybody, and I’ve noticed in the past there’s been more presence to help these people out.”

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney says he contacted the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH).

“I reached out to the director and I said ‘hey, can you send some folks down to address this encampment here and see if you can get some people some help,’ and he said, ‘well it’s a question of having enough rooms for people,’” said Haney. “Because, right now, when they’re doing outreach, they can’t tell you to go to a shelter because it’s not taking new people or Navigation Centers.”

Haney says under the CDC’s guidance, the Department of Public Health is not doing so-called sweeps during the pandemic. Moving and mixing people would further increase the spread of COVID-19.

In the meantime, Fedorchuk and her 18-month-old boy, have changed their walking habits.

“So I try to not go this way, especially in the evening, dark time, so no way,” she said.

Across town in the Tenderloin, Haney says the problem is improving since the pandemic began. Today’s tent count was just over 200. It was more than double that number, 6 weeks ago. He says most of the homeless people that moved have been placed in hotel rooms leased by the city.

When asked comment, HSH referred KPIX 5 to the Department of Emergency Management for this matter. They were unable to provide a statement Monday evening.

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