Recent social media posts by tourists visiting San Francisco casts a troubling light on the City by the Bay over its homeless issue, open drug use and filthy streets.
Since the beginning of the year, reports have surfaced of hypodermic needles dotting the streets, piles of human feces and expanding shanty towns for the increasing homeless population -- and now tourists are noticing, SFGate reported.
"Is this normal or am I in a 'bad part of town?'” an Australian Reddit user asked the San Francisco Reddit community Wednesday.
“Why is this city so terrifying?” a Canadian visitor asked on Reddit Sunday.
Staff at local hotels and travel businesses have empathized with “shocked” tourists over the state San Francisco's streets.
"I've never seen any other city like this — the homelessness, dirty streets, drug use on the streets, smash-and-grabs," Joe D'Alessandro, president of S.F. Travel told the San Francisco Chronicle in April.
"You see things on the streets that are just not humane," Kevin Carroll, executive director of the Hotel Council of San Francisco, also told the paper. "People come into hotels saying, 'What is going on out there?' They're just shocked.”
The city’s voting citizens are also grappling with the crises plaguing their streets in addition to their rising costs as they prepare to elect a new state governor in November.
The Golden State's homeless population of more than 130,000 people is now about 25 percent of the nationwide total, and cleaning up after the surging group is getting costly -- topping $10 million in 2016-17.
San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell announced in April a $750,000 initiative to hire workers solely to help clean up the city’s “hot spots” of needles and syringes—of which about 275,000 are collected every month by public health officials and nonprofit organizations.
“We’re the most beautiful city no one ever wants to come back to."
“People are starting to ask, ‘Maybe we need a Rudy Giuliani?’” Jason Clark, chairman of the San Francisco Republican Party, told The New York Times, speaking of the former Republican New York mayor whose tough stance on crime helped clean up the city in the 1990s.
Even though “The City by the Bay” was named by the editors of Conde Nast Traveler as one of its 50 most beautiful cities in January 2017, it may not be enough to expect visitors to return a second time.
“We’re the most beautiful city no one ever wants to come back to,” real estate agent and city resident Anna Coles told the Times.
Fox News’ Travis Fedschun and Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report.