SF City Hall: Don't put an IV drug users' injection site into 822 Geary!

SF City Hall: Don't put an IV drug users' injection site into 822 Geary!

101 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Elise Hellmann started this petition

Tell Mayor Breed that 822 Geary is simply a bad location for a "supervised injection facility".

San Francisco City Hall wants to put a so-called "supervised injection facility" into the former Goodwill building at 822 Geary, near Hyde Street, in the City's vibrant "Tender-Nob" neighborhood.  This would be a place where IV drug users could go to use their drugs while being supervised, in case they need intervention in the event of an overdose.

"Supervised injection facilities" have a mixed record where they have been tried in the world.  Some have reduced harm, but others have ended up causing more problems.  It may be that such an experiment is worth trying in San Francisco, in that it may benefit a subset of the City's IV drug users.  But 822 Geary is the wrong location for the City to try such a program. 

1.  Maps showing where used needles have been reported, and where used needle collection boxes have been installed to try to curb the problem, prove that Geary and Hyde is far away from the center of IV drug use in San Francisco; that center is actually at about Mission and 7th Streets, South of Market.  That is closer to the SROs and homeless encampments where many IV drug users live.

2.  The most successful examples of "supervised injection facilities" in the world, such as those that have been tried in Europe and Canada, combine all of the services that an IV drug user might need, under one roof.  But this proposed site does no such thing.  Other City and nonprofit services for IV drug users, such as the free needle distribution site, are far away; largely clustered around the Mission and 7th area.  That is where such an experiment should be tried. 

3.  If the goal is to reduce overdoses and the transmission of diseases, it is critical to reduce as many potential barriers as possible to it being used.  Locating a new facility up a hill, many blocks away from where most users live and spend their time, would probably be enough to cause the project to fail.  Why waste taxpayers' resources on an experiment that is doomed because it was put in the wrong location?

4.  The 800 block of Geary is one block outside of the Tenderloin Community Benefit District (whose border is at O'Farrell).  That means that the City would not be responsible for policing the area, or cleaning it up.  That burden would be imposed upon the neighbors.

5.  The 800 block of Geary is mixed-use, with 10 apartment buildings, 7 restaurants, 2 salons, an art gallery, a grocery store, etc.  The proposed facility would inevitably change the character of the block, and make it even harder for struggling businesses to recover from the Covid lock-downs.  We have already lost 4 businesses in this block, due to the pandemic.  The last thing we need is an experiment that would make diners and other visitors feel less safe.  South of Market between 7th and 9th Streets is largely an industrial and office area, which means that any negative collateral effects would not be likely to affect them in the same way.

6.  Such a facility would almost certainly increase crime in the area, since IV drug users typically have little to no income, and many have had to turn to petty crimes such as bicycle theft, shoplifting and car break-ins to be able to support their habit.  The 800 block of Geary is at the furthest extreme of SFPD's Central Station district (the Tenderloin Taskforce's border is at O'Farrell), which means that crimes would be all the more slow for the police to respond to.

7.  "Supervised injection facilities" violate US federal law, but City Hall wants to try it anyway.  If they go ahead with this, it is likely that the City will be sued by the federal government.  Although such a suit may take a year or more to adjudicate, the facility would still be operated in the interim.

Promoters of the facility are trying to accuse anyone who objects to it being put into 822 Geary of being "heartless", or "NIMBYs" ("Not In My Back Yard").  Both of those claims are false. 

Everyone we have spoken with agrees with us that it is important for the City to do what it can to reduce the harm caused by people becoming infected by contaminated needles, or them overdosing.  Again, it may be that such a facility would prove to be successful in its objectives.  But that is a separate matter from the question of where such a facility should be located.  And 822 Geary is simply a bad location for such an experiment. 

Please sign the petition to ask Mayor Breed to select a better location for this experimental facility. 

While you're at it, please send Mayor Breed a message through other means
phone: (415) 554-6141
e-mail: MayorLondonBreed@sfgov.org
Twitter: @LondonBreed

Please let the City know how you feel about this by visiting their website at https://sf.gov/information/822-geary
or by e-mail at 822geary@sfdph.org
or by voice message at 415-255-3501

Please contact District 6's Supervisor, Matt Haney, to let him know that you object to its placement.
e-mail: Matt.Haney@sfgov.org  
voicemail: (415) 554-7970 
Twitter: @MattHaneySF

And please join us at the next Board of Supervisors meeting, at 2pm on Tuesday, December 7th, to speak your mind about the plan.  The location is the Legislative Chamber, Room 250, at City Hall.  Please note that space will be limited, and masks required.  It is advised to come early to ensure entry.

Finally, please let your local friends and neighbors know about this effort.  Together we can reduce harm for everyone, and not just for one group at the expense of another.


101 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!