It’s Tough to Be Homeless in San Francisco

According to a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle:

A man who bought pizza for his companion on her birthday was cited for eating pizza at a bus stop at Market and Seventh streets in San Francisco.

“This is a real waste of police services,” said Kelley Cutler, an organizer with the Coalition on Homelessness.

Cutler said the pizza eater, a homeless San Francisco senior citizen, brought his citation to homeless-outreach workers Friday. …

The offense described on the citation is “eating in the shelter.” …

Cutler said the man was more amused than outraged by the ticket.

“Some people get agitated or upset, but he was being a good sport,” Cutler said. “He laughed about it. He kept saying he bought the pizza for his friend on her birthday.” …

Her client was cited for violating an ordinance against “eating or drinking in or on a system facility or vehicle in areas where those activities are prohibited by that system,” which can carry a fine of $250. …

Muni spokesman Paul Rose said he didn’t know whether it was OK or not OK to eat at a bus shelter. He said that passengers can be cited for eating on vehicles and inside Muni Metro stations but that the “food prohibition doesn’t necessarily extend to bus shelters.”

The pizza citation, Cutler said, was what some authorities refer to as a “quality of life” enforcement.

“The problem is, whose quality of life are you talking about?” Cutler asked. “The officer can say, ‘Move along, move along.’ The problem is, there’s nowhere to move along to.”

 

Jon Guze / Director of Legal Studies

Jon Guze is the Director of Legal Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the John Locke Foundation, Jon practiced law in Durham, North Carolina for over twent...

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