More Than 40% Of San Francisco Residents Planning To Leave Deteriorating City: Poll
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 16: A homeless person sleeps on a bench in front of closed retail stores on April 16, 2021 in San Francisco, California. As San Francisco begins to slowly reopen a year after the city went into lockdown due to theCOVID-19 pandemic, many of the city's businesses have shut their doors forever. San Francisco mayor London Breed is asking San Franciscans to patronize local businesses for the next 30 days as she pushes to prioritize small businesses. (Photo by
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

San Francisco residents have finally had it.

Out-of-control crime and homelessness, with many openly injecting drugs on public streets, have prompted residents to begin thinking about moving out of the city, according to a new poll.

“New polling released by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce shows that eight out of ten of San Franciscans consider crime to have worsened in recent years. The results were consistent across gender, age, ethnicity, party affiliation, and neighborhood, and homeownership status,” the Chamber wrote.

“For the second year in a row, 70% of residents feel that the quality of life in San Francisco has declined. Considered in light of the pandemic, these views are somewhat unsurprising. However, what stands out in the polling results is the strikingly high and consistent number of respondents who now view homeless and crime as the leading problems facing the City. Roughly 88% see homelessness as having worsened in recent years, and an overwhelming 80% see addressing this homelessness crisis as a high priority.”

The poll also found more than 40% say they plan to move out of the city in the next few years, the local CBS affiliate reported.

Lindsay Stevens, a San Francisco resident for 12 years until last weekend, told KPIX-5, “There’s nothing worse than seeing such a beautiful place in such disarray. I really thought I was going to be sad when the movers loaded up the last container on Saturday, and I have never been more relieved.”

“I honestly think in the last three years, we’ve seen a massive decline in the quality of life and that was only enhanced over COVID,” she said. “The homelessness has been a severe problem, people are not feeling safe walking their dog… the number of break-ins seem to be constantly on the rise.”

The poll found that 80% of residents say crime has worsened in recent years. Car break-ins have skyrocketed in the city, with police reporting that car burglaries skyrocketed 753% in May compared to the same time last year.

Rodney Fong, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said, “San Francisco has suffered over the past year, which highlighted and exacerbated issues like homelessness, street conditions, and safety concerns. Public infrastructure and the ability to manage street conditions were also pushed to their limits, and unsurprisingly our residents feel strongly about it.”

“In order to support the City, its residents, and our economic recovery, serious investments need to be made. Mayor [London] Breed has laid out budgets which target these issues in a holistic manner, and they lay the groundwork for serious solutions.”

Earlier this month, Breed announced a $1 billion investment to address  homelessness.

“Beyond programs, San Franciscans want to see substantial policy changes in the City’s response to homelessness. 80% of San Franciscans supported expanding conservatorship for individuals experiencing severe mental illness. Conservatorship provides court-ordered treatment for those who are no longer able to care for themselves due to mental illness,” the Chamber said.

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