On Thursday, Twitter user J Terrell Allen posted a video of a brawl between multiple homeless people in San Francisco.
In the footage, two men can be seen grappling on a dilapidated, trash-strewn sidewalk in the city's SoMa neighborhood among a crowd of homeless people. Another individual then enters the fray and begins hitting them with a broom.
Trigger warning: The following video contains violence. Viewer discretion is advised.
The fight ends when a fourth individual, driving an electric scooter, arrives at the scene. The struggle then gets over with the two men being separated.
The fight is seen as emblematic of the homeless epidemic in San Francisco and California as a whole. NPR reported that the state might have as many as 151000 homeless people.
Implications of the San Francisco brawl
In the original Twitter thread, J Terrell Allen sarcastically commented on the decaying social structure in San Francisco, on which NPR stated that it has seen rates of homelessness rise considerably since the 80s when the US government decreased the budget for affordable housing programs.
Allen commented on the SoMA neighborhood, which according to the SF Chronicle, contains one of the largest homeless encampments in the Bay Area,
“SOMA isn’t safe. Just happened. This is disgusting.
Another post read:
“I love going for long walks and passing by this every single day in my hood. Love the smell of crack and poop. Beautiful San Francisco.”
As per Vox, the issue is only exacerbated by the wealth disparity in San Francisco, the second highest city in terms of household income equality in America. The outlet stated that as property prices increased in the city, even middle-class people were forced to resort to homelessness at the time.
In an interview with Vox, 52-year-old Todd, a former video producer who experienced homelessness after losing his job, gave his account of trying to find work while living in his car.
"I slept in my car a lot. I was living in my car."
"I went around to every gym in town and got those one-week trial memberships, so in the morning, I'd go get my daughter from wherever she was, take her to school, go to the gym, work out, take a shower, and that was the only way I could shave and keep clean. Then I'd go to the county and job search."
In an interview with NPR, Nan Roman, President of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, condemned the rising housing prices, saying that as long as this is not addressed sufficiently by lawmakers, the situation will only worsen.