Ben Gilbert, SF Gate, April 18, 2109
Between 2011 and 2018, San Francisco experienced a massive increase in reported incidents of human feces found on public streets.
In 2011, just over 5,500 reports were logged by the San Francisco Department of Public Works; in 2018, the number increased to more than 28,000.
Notably, this is a chart of only documented reports — the actual amount of feces on San Francisco’s streets is likely even higher than these statistics suggest.
San Francisco has struggled with a feces problem for years. The city even employs a “Poop Patrol” that attempts to keep the streets clean and focuses on the Tenderloin neighborhood.
But the problem is bigger than just keeping the streets clean — the issue appears to be related to the city’s struggle to accommodate its homeless population amid skyrocketing rent prices and a decreasing supply of affordable housing.
A 2017 survey of San Francisco’s homeless population counted nearly 7,500 people living on the street. That population faces limited public resources, and public bathrooms are no exception.