Mayor Ed Lee unveiled a new feature for the city's 311 public information/assistance app that will allow residents to report homeless people in need of assistance to city officials. The feature is reportedly designed to better help San Francisco's sizable homeless population receive the enormous number of health and well-being services that the city offers. "We will follow up," Lee said during a press conference Tuesday.
"Today, we take a step forward as a compassionate city, providing this new way for constituents to let us know about a person who needs a well-being check," Lee said. "Walking past someone suffering on the streets does not reflect our San Francisco values. Our residents want to help, and we are providing easy ways for them to do that."
The feature will allow people to include a photo and details of the situation with their report -- whether its an overly-aggressive panhandler, abandoned shopping cart or sprawling encampment, for example -- and delivers the information to either the SFPD, Homeless Outreach or the Department of Public Health, depending on the nature of the issue. The city has already earmarked nearly $29 million for supportive housing and homeless services over the next two years. This app, of course, should only be used in non-emergency situations. San Franciscans should still dial 911 if and when shit gets real.