A tourist visiting San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood was stunned to see “drug addicts” gathering outside his rental home.
Jeremy Bernier, a software engineer who just arrived in the area on Saturday, posted a photo on X, formerly Twitter, of a group he claimed were drug addicts gathered outside his Airbnb.
Bernier described the city as the “most depressing place I have ever seen” and went on to ask, “wtf is this and who the hell is in charge of this city?”
“So many drugged people stood up straight, completely bent over with their heads to the ground, taking what looks like fentanyl,” he added.
“Tents everywhere, people passed out on sidewalks. This is even worse than in third world countries. What a shame.’
The progressive downtown Tenderloin neighborhood, once known for its rich cultural history, trendy restaurants, galleries, museums and nightlife, has deteriorated as homelessness and drug use rise in the Democratic-led city.
Although it wasn’t clear what brought Benier to the gritty city, he tried to see the positive side after his first day of travel: “Happy to be here and looking forward to experiencing the tech capital!”
A tourist visiting San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood was stunned to see ‘drug addicts’ gathering outside his rental home
Jeremy Bernier, a software engineer, who arrived in the area on Saturday, posted a photo on X, formerly Twitter
The progressive downtown Tenderloin neighborhood, once known for its rich cultural history, has deteriorated as homelessness and drug use rise in the Democratic-led city
The Tenderloin district is located in the heart of San Francisco, near the Asian Art Museum.
It is located just a few blocks from City Hall and the area includes part of the Compton Transgender Cultural District.
Robberies are up 14 percent so far this year in the Golden Gate City, where Mayor London Breed last month demanded 18 percent cuts to next year’s police budget.
According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the number of reported drug overdose deaths in the first nine months of the year was 620, compared to 540 during the same period in 2020.
And the city stands to lose $200 million a year in revenue from the exodus of businesses, which has driven major hotels and retailers to flee the city center.
Stout retailer Old Navy announced last month that it would close its flagship store in the area, becoming the latest chain to leave town.
Nordstrom also announced it would close all of its locations in the city.
In April, Whole Foods announced it would close all of their locations, with Anthropologie and Office Depot also making the same decisions, leading some analysts to predict the city has entered a “doom loop” of permanent decline.
Dozens of homeless people gathered on the city streets as citizens walked by
A bare-chested, partially dressed man is seen sleeping on the street
A homeless woman is seen hunched over on the concrete and lying on the streets of the downtown Tenderloin
As crippling drug problems and widespread homelessness problems continue to cause problems for the city, names like “garbage city,” “ruined city” and “fallen city” have emerged.
Earlier this month, British Home Secretary Suella Braverman cited the city as an example of what could happen in Britain as she outlined plans to stop charities handing over tents to homeless people.
“Unless we act now to stop this, British cities will head in the same direction as places in the US like San Francisco and Los Angeles, where weak policies have led to an explosion of crime, drug use and misery,” she wrote.
The city’s U.S. Attorney Ismail Ramsey announced Thursday a multi-agency “All Hand on Deck” project to tackle drug trafficking in the Tenderloin, admitting it had become “ground zero” for drug tourism.
He revealed that 50 kilos of fentanyl have been seized from the District’s streets in the past four months, almost double the amount in the same period last year and enough to cause 20 million fatal overdoses.
“Our drug crisis has been fueled in part because selling fentanyl has become a lucrative calling for people who have found our neighborhoods, and especially the Tenderloin District, to be a convenient and risk-free marketplace,” he said.
It is a reality that is all too clear to the residents who have to live and work in the city.
Crime statistics from the San Francisco Police Department show the increase in murders and robberies in the month of November in San Francisco
In June, a homeless encampment lines the streets of the Tenderloin neighborhood
Tents and homeless encampments line the streets of downtown Tenderloin. One TikToker wrote: ‘The tenderloin was rough, but it was never, ever like that, and I was born and raised here so this isn’t the same scene before the pandemic’
Earlier this year, a homeless woman was pictured giving birth on a Tenderloin sidewalk as pedestrians walked by.
The baby lay crying on the sidewalk, covered in the mess of his birth, until his mother reached out to pick him up with a piece of cloth.
“This is overwhelming and mentally exhausting,” the TikToker wrote.
‘Not to mention the dangers of the unpredictable nature of this environment.
“The tenderloin was rough, but it was never, ever like that, and I was born and raised here, so this isn’t the same scene before the pandemic.
“Imagine children and seniors having to navigate this, it’s absolutely terrifying.”
TikToker “Freqmeek,” a lifelong resident, filmed her walk to work last month through the drug-infested streets that have made the city an international symbol of misery and despair.
“The fear we experience as we travel to work in the Tenderloin every day is unbelievable,” she wrote.
“There are so many concerns and protections for drug users and the homeless, but what about the working class who have to pray that they can get to and from work in this environment?
“These are real dangers that you face every day just to provide for your family.”