San Francisco’s decrepit, feces-ridden sidewalks are the residents’ No. 1 complaint -- so the city’s newly elected mayor is creating a new clean up patrol to deal with "No. 2."
The California city, which has been battling increasing homelessness over the last couple of years, launched a new pilot program called the “Poop Patrol,” which is set to scour targeted neighborhoods looking for human waste.
The city’s 311 service has received nearly 14,600 calls about piles of poop, other human waste and dog feces since the beginning of the year.
The “Poop Patrol” – part of the city’s Pit Stop program which provides staffed public toilets around the downtown areas – will begin patrolling the alleys around Polk Street and other hot spots in a vehicle equipped with a steam cleaner.
Department of Public Works director Mohammed Nuru said the city will spend about $750,000 to search for and clean up human waste.
“So, what happens is we’re going to take one of those crews out and try to get ahead of those calls and look for these locations so that hopefully we can get less numbers of calls coming in,” he told KTVU.
Last month, the city's new mayor, London Breed, said the amount of feces scattered on the streets of the wealthy city in recent months was among the worst she has ever seen.
“We have the data that shows where most of the complaints are for poop clean up,” Breed told KTVU. “So, the goal is to make sure we have a dedicated team and they are focusing on those particular areas where we know it’s most problematic.”
San Francisco in recent years is reported to have spent $241 million and $275 million from annual budgets on homeless outreach services and programs, most of which, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, involve supportive housing units that get people off the streets. For the first time, the city’s overall budget this year will top $11 billion, the Chronicle reported.
Out of the 7,499 homeless people recorded last year, about 58 percent, or 4,353 people, were marked as unsheltered. The other 3,146 were designated sheltered.
“I’ve had to deal with it myself in front my home and it’s not a pleasant feeling,” Breed told ABC7. “I want to change San Francisco for the better. I want to clean up the city.”
The plan is for the Poop Patrol to begin this month and, if it works, the city will look to expand the effort.
Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report.