Various surveys and interviews in the past 5 years have yielded essentially the same challenges and issues in our district. They include: vacant retail spaces, general concerns about street cleanliness and safety, specific concerns about the increase in homeless individuals in our neighborhood, and the quality of life issues that ensue (trash, filth, sense of insecurity, decrease in property values), and so on.
The Discover Polk CBD Board believe that there are tools at our disposal. For one, we will have a dedicated district advocate (District Coordinator) who can effectively relay our issues to City Hall and help orchestrate a response. We will have outreach Ambassadors, who will work closely with appropriate city entities to de-escalate, and triage and prioritise clients for services. During formation, our Steering Committee (SC) engaged The Department of Homelessness and Sustainable Housing (DHSH): in September 2016 the Deputy Director of DHSH and a representative of HOT walked along the Discover Polk corridor with the Discover Polk SC and observed areas of frequent complaint and concern; in February 2017 we had a follow up onsite meeting with property owners, DHSH, SFPD and our Supervisor, where we were able to point out the evolution of one of the critical encampment areas. At the HOT suggestion, we have been distributing the section 25/26 No Trespassing signs that authorize SFPD to intervene with persons who “sleep, lie or or in any way remain” within property doorways. We continue to report encampments, aggressive behavior of street persons, drug deals and open drug usage to 311 and 911, and keep the responsible departments and Supervisor Peskin’s office apprised of the status of reports, individuals and our efforts.
Economic Health of Retail
Our merchants are the lifeblood of the community; without them, we could be in Anywhere, USA. We will work with OEWD (Office of Economic & Workforce Development), the Small Business Commission and Polk District Merchants Association to nurture and preserve the vitality of Middle Polk businesses.