tv Government Access Programming SFGTV February 27, 2018 12:00am-1:01am PST
>> the meeting will come to order. welcome to the february 14, 2018 regular meeting of the public safety and neighborhood services committee. i'm supervisor jeff sheehy, chair of the committee. to my right, supervisor ronen and to my left supervisor peskin. the clerk is john carroll and i would like to thank -- jessie larson and knowna for staffing this meeting. clerk, do you have any announcements. >> clerk: thank you, please make sure to silence all cell phones. items acted upon today will be on the 2017-18 board of
supervisors agenda unless other stated. member peskin? >> present. ronen? sheehy? present. all members are present. we will be calling 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 to allow supervisor cohen to attend her items. please call number one. >> hearing to consider the transfer of type 21 offsale general beer, wine and distilled spirits liquor license to verve holdings, doing business as verve at 2358 fillmore street, will serve the public convenience or necessity of the city and county of san francisco. >> good morning, supervisors. they have applied for a type 21 license and if approved this would allow them to sell beer, wine and distilled spirits.
there are zero letters of protest. zero letters of support. they're located in plot 295 which is considered a high-crime area. they are in track 135 which is considered a high saturation area. alu approves with the following recommended conditions. number one, sales of alcohol beverages shall be permitted between the hours of 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. number 2, the petitioner shall be responsible for maintaining free of litter the area adjacent to the premise which they have control. number 3. loitering, loitering is defined, lingering aimlessly without lawful business. it's prohibited on sidewalks or property adjacent to the licensed premises under the control of the licensee. and number 4, graffiti shall be
removed from the premise and all parking lots under the control of licensee within 72 hours of application. if the graffiti occurs on a friday, weekend, or holiday, the licensee shall remove graffiti within 72 hours of the beginning of the next weekday. it showed be noted that the applicant has agreed with the conditions. >> supervisor sheehy: the applicants are invited to present if they wish. >> hi there. my name is dustin wilson, i'm one of the operating partners of verve wine. we have this california location is our second store. we have a small store in new york. where we sell really high-quality wines acrosses board, i couldn't consider us just an average wine store, i
would like to think we're more upscale than that. we bring more of restaurant hospitality approach to the way we sell wine and are very excited to be part of the neighborhood. i think we've had a great impact in try becca, new york and our neighbors really love us and we're looking forward to being part of this neighborhood as well. >> supervisor sheehy: before we go to public comment, any questions? is there any public comment? so do i have a motion? seeing no public comments, it's closed. >> i'd like to make a motion to -- positive recommendations. >> no objection. >> objections? the motion passes. still learning this. now, i think we go to item 3.
>> clerk: i'm happy to call the item. agenda item 3, addresses cleanliness, safety and availability of social services as at the bay party rapid transit, usedly many people. hear department presentations on the efforts and achievements in contributing to a new baseline for 16th street bart plaza, whether hours of power washing or numbers successfully diverted by the law enforcement assisted diversion. >> supervisor sheehy: thank you, i want to thank supervisor ronen for introducing the item. >> supervisor ronen: thank you so much. i wanted to thank everyone who came out today for the hearing. we're going to briefly hear from
presenters from bart, hut team and the lead program in san francisco. i don't see director dusty, but i know he's here and coming up shortly. i want to give my profound thanks to bevan who -- there he is. he just walked in the room. i'm giving you my heart felt thanks because from your one year on the board, i think you accomplished a record amount. and about five months ago, director dusty called me and he said, you know conditions at the 16th street bart station are really bad and i've come out here and decided i'm going to clean it myself. i was wondering if you would like to join me one week. i said that's a great idea, i would love to join you. that first week that i joined director dusty, i have to say it was a particularly -- i don't
know if it was auspicious time to go, but it was the day after halloween. it was one of the most unhealthy situations i've seen. when you're a passenger, you just kind of walk through, look straight and try not to touch or see as little as possible, because it's a station that has been historically plagued by many difficult issues coming together in one. so when i became like the amazing janitors who work full-time for bart, and got my gloves on and started cleaning the station myself, i started looking at the problem in a whole new light. and the bottom line is, that for a transit hub as big as the 16th street bart station is, it is
absolutely unacceptable that the residents of san francisco and the transit riders have to subject themselves to those conditions on a daily basis. it is a public plaza. and there were used needles, human waste. the stench of urine was overwhelming. heaps of soiled clothing. dead animals. i mean i could go on and on, but i'll spare you all. what i'll say over the five months that the director and i have been cleaning the bart station, joining the janitor biron who does this as a living and does an amazing job to the best of his ability every single day, we have made it a crusade to change the conditions at the station. we have really good news. i'll leave that good news for bart to tell us all. but i will say that this morning
before i came here, i was at the bart cleaning the station and it's looking better than i've ever seen it. it is clean, sanitary, no longer dangerous. i want to thank bart for listening to us and working with us to fix this problem. which was long overdue. i will tell you every week when beavan and i are cleaning the station, we get stopped by countless transit riders. we've made friends with those who hang out in the station and they say it's never been better, safer, cleaner. and we're making a big difference. but we have a ways to go. the bart station at 16th street for many reasons is a place where people have hung out historically. it's surrounded by many sro hotels that don't have indoor space for people to congregate and to be together. and so that public plaza is a
place where people come to hang out. there are homeless residents who have been living in the plaza for quite some time. and it's a place where we need a whole other level and host of social services. the continued work that i'm going to be doing and i'll be there every wednesday until we accomplish this next goal of ours, is that we get hot tea members that primary job is focused on the station. director dusty and i are in the process of talking to bart, mta and other city departments about funding full-time hot team members at the station. we have the navigation center in the mission, so we have places that hot team members can direct people to sleep and be safe and have all-day access to bathrooms and showers and food and services that they need. but we need to improve the situation at bart. we're also going to be hearing
from the lead sf, which is a program that has been piloted in san francisco and one of the hubs of the program is the 1th street -- 16th street bart station. we were out there talking to the lead team that is contracted out through sultan agency and they're out there, diverting people, and low-level -- that have low-level drug offenses, not to the jail, but to services to improve their lives. that's the type of partnership we have between bart and the city going forward that will finally start making a difference in this station. let me be clear. we have no desire to kick people out of the station, but we do have a desire to make sure that people are getting the services that they need. the last thing i'll say before i turn it over to the presenters and then i'll have questions for them. there was a woman named alice, and heather knight from the chronicle tt wrote about alice,
who had been living three years in front, in a chair, in front of the burger king in the bart plaza. how this 63-year-old woman who is very, very ill, was able to live for three years in that station, without getting the help she needs, is beyond me. it's something i want to hear about today. it's something that i've dedicated myself to working on going forward. we, thanks to ann gallagher, a volunteer in my office, and her husband dr. dan, who is retired but used to work in dph as part of homeless health services made it their personal mission to work with alice every single day until they got her inside. i'm very happy to report that for the first time in three years, she has a home. she has the medical care that she needs and deserved, but i don't understand why it took the supervisors' office and
volunteers that were dedicated specifically to alice, to intervene in her life and get her inside. she would have died on the streets if we hadn't intervened. that's just not acceptable. we need to do better. i think the situation at the 16th street bart station is an example of government failing. bart of the city of san francisco not doing our jobs. and i'm glad to see that we have fixed that and that we're going to do what we should have been doing all along, but if we can't keep our transit stations clean and we can't provide services to seniors and homeless people who have mental health and substance abuse, that is a failure of government. it is our job to fix these things and that's what we're doing and going to continue to do. without further ado, if my colleagues don't have any comments, then i'm going to ask
paul overseer from bart to start us off. >> good morning, supervisors, thank you for giving bart the opportunity to talk about the initiatives that we're taking to provide both cleaner station system-wide and specifically 16th street in mission. i want to start by thanking supervisor ronen and bart director bevan dusty for their sweat equity in the issue and really providing leadership and focusing the staff's attention on the problems at 16th street and helping us to get to what i think is a major step forward in addressing the conditions there. i'd like to start just by talking about station cleaning in general. and then zero in on what we're doing at 16th street. you know the backdrop and context of this issue is that bart's 430,000 riders a day have been speaking loud and clear
over the last couple of years about some of conditions that they find in our stations and even on our trains. the level of customer dissatisfaction about station cleanliness and social conditions in some of the stations, they have become increasingly vocal about their concerns and it may have contributed somewhat so a levelling off and slight decline in the overall ridership. so we have started sometime ago with system--wide campaign to professionalize the function of station cleaning. we had an outside consultant come in, they made a series of recommendations. we went from there to making, for bart anyway, a pretty significant change. we have 148 cleaners. it's a fairly large function. we made the decision to move
them out of one department into a maintenance department. and i think that set -- that caused a series of profession things to occur -- positive things to occur as we had a new set of eyes and higher degree of commitment really in the area of cleaning our stations. we've set up a dedicated management structure. previously there was nobody directly in charge of station cleaning and nothing but station cleaning. it was a function that was spread out with other responsibilities. so we now have a superintendent and two assistant superintendents whose sole responsibility is to make sure the stations are clean. that helped with the span of control. obviously that established the level of accountability within the management structure of the agency that didn't exist before. we followed that by partnering with outside experts. there is a group called the worldwide cleaning industry association, which is like the biggest group in the world.
some 7,000 members. they have offices in asia and europe, and it's basically a trade group that specializes in cleaning facilities. they helped us in terms -- or are helping us in terms of developing standard operating procedures, kpis and methods and procedures to make us more efficient and effective in how we do cleaning. another thing we were lacking was a formal training program. as we hired new cleaners, it was sort of on-the-job training and we've now hired a formal trainer, who does nothing but train new employees who also trains existing employees. we ultimately hope through this industry trade group to get what is sort of an iso type certification. that's a ways off, but that's where we're headed. one of benefits of moving the
function into maintenance, they're responsible for maintaining the equipment, so we're looking closely at the type of equipment we give to the clean staff to maximize productivity. we're putting in place a quality assurance program, we're doing audits and inspections, it's management 101 stuff we're doing to professionalize the function of cleaning stations at bart. now as it relate to 16th street station, another thing that we did that had a direct impact on the resources available for 16th street, we looked at the work program. work program is just 148 people that clean stations, where do you put them, when do you put them there? we did as a result of objectively looking at that work program, we categoryized our stations based on the side, based on the complexities that
exist, whether they were above ground or underground. we went through that process, and then after categorizing the stations we allocated what we thought were the appropriate level of resources to each category of stations. it's about reallocation. this is, i have to say, even though the bart board added 35 cleaning positions since fiscal year 14, we're still at about the same level we were when we first opened the san francisco airport extension and that's because when the dot.com hit us so hard, we had to make tough choices. was it going to be service, reliability, safety are cleaning where we cut services and unfortunately, at the time we had to reduce the cleaning resources pretty significantly. so we're back up to the point in terms of the number of positions that we have that we were at
then. but anyway, when we looked up the stations and allocated the resources there was a major shift from sort of the outlying suburban areas into the core system. two-thirds of bart riders get off at one of the four downtown stations, and 16th street, although not a downtown station, has a lot of circumstances that required attention. there are 14 shifts, two shifts a day, 7 days a week, 14 shifts a week. at 16th street in mission. prior to the change that we're in the process of implementing right now, 6 of the 14 shifts did not have a dedicated cleaner. that meant that during those 6 shifts, somebody had to worry about, usually it was 16th street and 24th street. when you're trying to keep two major stations like that clean, you know, you can barely have
time to empty the garbage and not do a whole lot more. as a result of the changes that we've made and the reallocations, i'm happy to say that we have dedicated coverage for all 14 shifts during the week. number one. and number two, instead of having six shifts with no dedicated coverage, we have six of the 14 shifts a week with two cleaners dedicated to that station. so it's a pretty significant change in the amount of cleans resources dedicated to 16th. the other thing is patio steam cleaning which is important. we do that late at night when there is not as many people around on the plaza level. that used to be a one-hour job, we upped that to four hours, 7 nights a week. and in april, we planned to come in and do a major job of again doing very deep cleaning at the
two plazas at 16th street and going through and sealing the area, so that when we do steam cleaning after that, it will be much more effective in terms of dealing with some of the smells and other issues that are there. so a lot of things going on. again, i want to thank the supervisor and director dusty for being the champions of this and for allowing us to go through the process of really making district-wide changes in terms of what we do with our station cleaning. >> supervisor ronen: thank you so much, first of all. i could not be more excited about these changes and i just really appreciate you for hearing us and working so hard and not just looking at this one station, but making changes to improve the entire system. i'm excited about the news. just one question. when do you expect the -- all of changes to go into effect? >> so i think the biggest change
the added cleaners at 16th street. we're going through the process of meeting with our employees so they understand what the new schedule looks like. then we have to go through a bid process. we have to have a few more discussions with the labor union. so we're looking at april. that's a pretty firm date. which is the same month we want to do the sealing of the plaza. >> supervisor ronen: fantastic. thank you so much. any questions? >> so i live in glen park, so i'm a regular bart rider. perhaps maybe the most regular bart rider on the board. while i appreciate what you're doing at the 16th street and mission stop, which used to be my stop, i appreciate what director dusty and supervisor ronen have done. i have experienced that on a daily basis for a while. but you know, i wonder if what
the thinking is at bart addressing the issue of homelessness more holistically. my daughter will not get out at pal street to go skating, because it's disgusting. and then what is even worse, it's heart-wrenching, just as a human being, when you have bodies, some of them partially dressed, passed out, injecting. i mean the number of people i see injecting in bart stations is staggering, open drug-dealing at the top of civic center bart. i can go there now and there will be drug dealers doing deals. people sleeping on bart trains and in a way, bart has become a moving homeless shelter. and then the pushing of people around from station to station. you know, i can kind of tell
when there is heightened activity at civic center because i see homeless people getting off at glen park. i've never really understood, you know, i see it, at glen park where we have occasional spikes, likely we haven't had one for a few years in crime surrounding the bart station. we've never gotten a response from bart in terms of making it safer. you know, we get sfpd, but the responsibility of bart for the homelessness and cleanliness on the trains, it seems like either
you should set up your own homeless response mechanism with navigation centers, outreach workers, mental health and law enforcement response, or more directly coordinate with the jurisdictions that you travel through, because i can tell you from both personal experience and from my constituents, what you're doing is not working. and the trajectory is downward, not upward. i see more homeless people on bart. i see more people on the platforms. who are obviously mentally ill and have issues. i see more stuff in the stations. and i don't know -- what is the plan? so you've got this great plan for one station. but -- and just cleaning, you know, when the root of the problem is really the homelessness problem. so i just maybe some -- maybe director dusty was flagging me.
but, please -- >> you're welcome to answer. let me just start, respectfully, >> we're a transportation agency, that being said, our customers are telling us just as you told me, that what they're encountering on our system is not acceptable to them and they don't care whose responsibility it is, they're encountering it in our stations and on our trains and they expect us to deal with it. i can tell you without reservation whatsoever, that right now, bart as an agency, has four major priorities and they all sort of relate to what you just discussed. the homeless situation, cleanliness and public safety. i could go on much longer than you want to hear me.
i could go on and on about all the different things we're trying and there is no guarantee that any particular strategy or tactic is going to work, but believe me, we are investing a huge amount of resources and a huge amount of the general manager's attention and all the management's attention on dealing with the very issues that you outlined. i'll just finish by giving you one very small example of what i think is the out of the box thinking that we're employing now to try to deal with the situation as best we can. we're on the verge of making an -- signing an agreement to have elevator attendance at civic center station. we have two elevators there. it's a joint station that we share with sfmta. i might say that the level of cooperation between bart, sfmta, stpd and the other agencies,
public works, i've been at bart for 28 years, it's at a higher level than ever before. we're at the general manager level, the police departments are there, the city agencies are there. so we are working very closely together. but back to my one example. so the elevator attendants, as pal street and civic in particular, that elevator is only as clean as the last person in there. we just came to the conclusion that given that situation, we needed to have somebody in there all the time. so we are going to prototype a program for six months. we are hopeful that sfmta will partner with us and handle the two elevators as pal street and the idea is from the family foundation, there will be an attendant in that elevator -- or both elevators, for all the hours that that station is open. we think that's going to have a very positive impact.
granted, it's a limited space, but believe me if you're in a wheelchair, and we hear it from the disabilities rights groups all the time, it is a horrible experience to have to use an elevator at those two stations. that's one very small example of some of the things we're trying. there are a lot of other things, but i know time is limited. >> supervisor sheehy: do you have hot team from any jurisdiction on bart trains? because i see people -- usually there is one -- if a train comes through, there is one car, you can always tell it's the one that is half empty, but there is one car in the train that has somebody sleeping on it. >> so part of what came out of the cooperation amongst all the agencies is that in november, sfmta and bart agreed to jointly fund a hot team for the four downtown stations. so that's in the early stages.
i mean, they're out there. they're making contact with the people that are residing in our stations. so, we're using that, we're participating in sf leads. i was just on the way over here, i saw something that i seldom see, i saw two san francisco police officers in the bart station. so there is joint patrols that are going on. so there is just a whole lift of initiatives that we're trying to get our arms around this very difficult problem. and again, i have to say you know, we're not immune from the commissions -- conditions that exist outside of the system. at the end of the day, it presents a real challenge for what is a transportation agency to deal with what are very, very deep rooted social problems. >> do you have interventions with other jurisdictions such as oakland? i know -- this may be anecdotal, but i have heard that in some
outlying jurisdictions, one of their responses to their homeless situation is to actually encourage homeless people in their jurisdictions to assist them getting on bart, which then becomes their solution to their homelessness issue. bart is considerably chippier than a bus ticket that people have used to transport people to san francisco. what is the success in working with other jurisdictions and addressing the movement of homeless people from their streets onto your trains? >> good morning, mr. chairman and colleagues and friends here. and thank you for all the members of the audience. bevan dusty. i want to step back one second and say that everyone remembers in 2010 some elected officials in san francisco put a measure, sit and lie on the ballot.
it was not something that i supported. and it is not proven to be a particularly effective tool. it's spotty, off and on, the station might try it for a while. i didn't think it was the right thing to do. but one of the elements of sit and lie, it didn't apply to the stations. so as people were being engaged at the street level, many opted to go down stairs where it was out of the rain, out of the cold, someplace safer than on the street. i think that had a big impact on us and certainly i came to the bart board with a tremendous passion with creating better government systems that reach people who are homeless or marginally housed and try to help them. i think initially for the general manager of bart, we were a tough fit for one another. i think the things that i talk about are scary when i say i want the bart board to support a
safe syringe site for people. i have in fact gone out and met in every county that participates in bart. all the counties and it has been an eye-opening experience. you are correct that we have very distinct end of the line problems in places like pittsburgh bay point and warm springs in the freemont area where people are on the trains and stuck out there. there was a very noted story from the chronicle tt reporter otis taylor, about a gentleman whose life was based in san francisco. he stuck at midnight in boy point, has no place to go and wound up shivering in the parking lot, came back at 4 in the morning when the system is starting, and was spoken to by a bart police officer, said i hope
you're not planning to fare evade. when we got on the train, he was angry and belligerent and it was unsafe situation and that's what otis taylor wrote about. they have a core team which is the equivalent of the hot team and they spent $7 million last year on ambulance transports of individuals that are homeless. it's a huge drain on their public health system and their emergency response system. and there are instances in which every ambulance is tied up responding to an individual whose homeless, many of whom are at bart stations, three particular bart stations in contra costa county. one the things we hope to do is create a similar partnership and bring the core team into contra costa. i'm so impressed with the work they do. jeff, his colleagues, martin,
they're doing things and they're really excited to work with us. and a lot of money is being wasted and there are people that are getting stuck at 12:30, 1 a.m. and they know the only place to get inside, is to say they're having health emergency, they're taken to an emergency room and they can be safe and warm. we've had meetings with san matteo county. sfo, there are bus tickets that are given to people to get on transand come back to san francisco late at night. but they're having situations there. supervisor ronen and i are planning to meet with the airport director and there is a lot of interest. but this phenomena is everywhere within the bart system and the muni system. and we need to have a comprehensive multicounty approach. in alameda, the challenge is that they have relatively little
homeless outreach and you can see some of the circumstances we've seen in oakland and those areas where you have a lot of encampment and not a lot of engagement except by law enforcement. this started at 16th street, but i'm so grateful that paul overseer, the chief maintenance and engineering officer have stepped it up, because our front line employees have dealt with terrible things. people yell and say why are you not tackling that person, why are you not doing something about the person sleeping in the station? for the station acts they come to work at 3:45 in the morning, they're trying to enter the system, where you can have 10-20 people sleeping on the stairs to
be safe. so the plan that has been presented is very comprehensive. i mean, we have temporary, as you see, we're constructing right now, canopies to enclose the stations. we have temporary barriers that are there. we are really for the first time looking at station plans where you're going to have station agents meeting with custodians and bart police and management to talk about the dynamics and ecosystem of every station. but i want to say from standpoint and the president of bart, we've all participated in meetings to sit down and really talk about the services they have, what are the problems that they face, and the fact that bart is not unlike anyone else. law enforcement is not an effective response to homelessness. housing is how you respond, and that's where we have to partner with the city.
we've gotten the message and i'm excited about what is happening. as you described, i've received letter after letter about terrible situations, young people wanting to go ice skate, just wanting to see a movie and what they're seeing and it's unacceptable. you have on our part an agency that is ready to really make change. >> supervisor ronen: director dusty, i just as someone that spent the last 4-5 months with you at the station every wednesday, i just want to give you my sincere thanks. the fact that you in your long career in civil service, that you have directed the homeless services in san francisco, directed the mayor's office of social services, your depth of knowledge of the city, every single week we're out there,
every homeless person who is living out in the bart station personally. they're on a first name basis. and he knows everything about them. he calls agencies and gets people on the spot. he knows half of your staff, larry. and brings them out to deal with special circumstances that are beyond our control. and i just, it's been a humbling experience to be out there with you. and i just feel so grateful you're representing us on the bart board because your long career and experience are bringing all of these relationships and knowledges together. and i believe that you're going to make great change system wide. i have to give you my personal thanks. >> we're sort of addicted to sweeping now. >> we don't want to stop. >> willie brown would love this
room because there are so many people behind me that know so much and are critical, but it's rare we all get together and i think that is where bart is trying to change. you as supervisors, ombudsperson, that's the magic. there are people in public works, bart people, and this is something where we need to work together. i think that the value of having a city official and a bart official together is what is really made the difference here. but there is enormous amount of talent in the room and just a commitment to really work together to make this both a city and transportation system that we can be proud of. and to the chairman i say, we're the highest fair box recovery transit system in the country, which means 75% of operations are funded by fares and 4% reduction on nights and weekends, it's going to decimate the budget and make us do things
we don't want to do. we want to get the message out that bart is committed, we want to forge a partnership, not just in san francisco, but throughout the system to address this. >> supervisor ronen: thank you. next up i wanted to call larry stringer, the deputy director of dpw. and to thank you, beavan and i called tom smith and daryl on a regular basis. they come out immediately to help us, so please give our regards and thanks to them as well. >> we'll do that. >> good morning, supervisors. i want to thank you, supervisor ronen and director dusty, really, seriously for tackling this problem, really bringing it to the forefront. it has been on -- we have a quarterly meeting with bart. it has been on our agenda. trying to come up solutions and changes for the last couple of
years. it's one of the most challenging intersections that we have in the city and also one of the hardest to keep clean. not just the plaza, but the surrounding area as well. in this presentation i'll talk about what we do. and also some things that we partnered with breitbart to try and experiment how we could change the plaza. you have to bear with me.
so as i said, it is one of the most challenging. i'm going to walk through the services we do. power washing. we do power-wash around the plaza. we also power wash the navigation center around that whole block, about four times or four nights a week, along with cleaning and brushing. it remains a challenge. we can do that. you almost need somebody there almost dedicated in order to seven days a week to really keep it in a clean fashion. we also have corridor workers that work through the corridor around the 16th street station and mission and they work four days a week. friday through monday.
which is even though it's a commute hub, it's also very busy on the weekend. and that's where our staffing levels are at. there there is stats about street cleaning. you can see the volume of street cleaning in the intersection. and you can see those are 3-1-1 requests for just one year. the larger the dot means more requests. so you get a sense of what is going on around the bart station as well as at the bart station. and this is just a trend of the types of requests that we get during that time, whether it's packer truck, steamer, or litter patrol which runs and picks up the loose debris. but that's all in a one-year period and you can look at the trending up and down. but the volume is pretty steady.
one other thing through the area that we struggle with a lot is graffiti. if you're around the bart, it's a detractor, from 14th to 18th, that whole mission corridor, just really attracts a lot. and we're constantly out there, either doing removal or holding the property owner somewhat responsible. and this is hardship for graffiti removal. that gives you a sense here of the challenges we face in that area. we do partner with bart on a number of different areas. and we try to come up with solutions. it was a big challenge, the plaza on the northeast corner, constantly had a smell of urine.
we got a permit from them to try something different which was the pee wall. it had some effectiveness, we did see a decrease a little bit in the amount of urine. it did not totally solve the problem. >> supervisor ronen: what is a pee wall? [laughter] >> it is a wall where we placed where we found that people are frequently urinating and we placed chemicals on the wall and it has the ability of instead of just dribbling down the wall, it gets them back. it bounces back on them and they get wet. the idea is, we sign it and it was an experiment. we tried it in several different places. it's just one of the challenges we have because of the amount of urine that was happening there. we tried it with bart's permission in that plaza. it was somewhat effective.
it didn't totally solve the problem. and then one of the other things that we really notice, because of that, was pit stops. we began a partnership with bart at 16th that started a cap and we moved it closer to the station where we split the cost 50-50 to install a pit stop there. and then just based on the sheer volume and the problems we're having, we also set up the pit stop with the j.c. decaux on the opposite corner. this is where you will find two pit stops, but the amount of urine and everything that was going on there, we decided this was a definite location we needed to try this. it's been successful around bart has agreed to continue funding for the next couple of years. with that being said, i'll just
say, 16th and mission is one of the most challenging areas and i'm happy that you've taken this up, your commitment to making a definite change there. i will say one of the things i would like to see as we work together, is that the jurisdictional lines aren't so defined, so that we can all take ownership of that area, both the plaza and the street. and i look forward to the future and what you guys are doing. particularly with the bart, we can turn that from the place that is a place that people will actually like being there. that's pretty much it. >> supervisor ronen: just one quick question for you. what we've known is that the new style trash cans, while they're more attractive, the way they're designed, the trash gets in between the can itself and the green metal surrounding and they
happen to be really problematic at the 16th bart station. is there any way to replace the cans so they're designed to actually capture the trash completely as opposed to falling over the side. >> we are working actually on a new trash can design. we recognized that and have seen that. what is supposed to happen, our workers are supposed to go around and pull the can out and clean it. but they're not there often enough to make that happen. that was a limitation of the design. we're working on a new one where you won't be able to put your hand inside, so you won't see it. >> supervisor ronen: fantastic. the other thing, we have seen downtown streets out in the area recently. and it's been wonderful. so we're looking forward to talking to them about continuing that work. you know, as you said in the blocks surrounding, because they need -- >> it's an area that really, if
you're going to keep it clean and presentable, that's an area where you're going to have to staff it seven days a week, we just don't have the resources currently to do that. but that's probably the best way you're going to keep that presentable seven days a week. >> supervisor ronen: sounds great and we'll keep talking about that. next, we have jeff kaczynski. and sorry, i know we want to get this to public comment. we have two more speakers.
fire department and the police probably assist at least that number as well. i want to give thanks to my staff doing that work every day, working with very challenging individuals who are facing a lot of difficulties in their lives and providing them with compassionate and loving and professional services. i also want to talk about this as a regional issue because b.a.r.t. is a regional system. and just wanted to point out that san francisco has 23% of the homelessness and i think it's also important to point out every year approximately 5,000 individuals enter san francisco who are experiencing homelessness from other bay area counties. i agree with supervisor sheehy
to look at this and coordinate be our surrounding counties and b.a.r.t. is very important if we are going to bend the curve on the problem in san francisco or the bay area. we don't have really great data on exactly what we're doing at 16th street b.a.r.t., but i can provide you with some information as you'll' here. district nine as 271 of the sheltered homeless population and 281 of the unsheltered homeless population. in january 2017 when we did the point and time count. you also will see that relative to the homeless population in the city, district nine has 6.6% of the unsheltered but 17% of the calls. part of this is due to the residential nature and the high population density in the mission district. there's a lot of people there.
and a lot of new residences and businesses. but we are receiving a fair number of complaints and concerns from citizens around this issue relative to the size of the homeless population. this next slide will show you the homeless outreach team. that star is the 16th street b.a.r.t. station and you will see that it is in red meaning that it is one of the areas where the hot team has about 6,000 -- serves 6,000 people a year and this is a heat map of where they're reaching out to folks and bringing that down a little bit to just district nine. you'll see based on our work in district nine, the hot team spends not most of it's time, but a significant amount of time at the 16th street plaza. you see there's a significant number of encampments and this could be one tent or more in the area right around the plaza
there. i think we've had some significant impacts, positive impacts on homelessness through the mission district homeless outreach prompt and thanks to supervisor ronen's leadership, we have opened up one at van ness. we engage 1,700 people to date who are homeless and there are tents in the mission district. 70% of them accepted placements to the n.a.v. center. when we started, 264 tents and structures counted on june 20th of 2017. and at last count there were fewer than 60. we've had good progress. we can make improvements. so, we have been piloting a project with b.a.r.t. and muni which has been quite successful. our goal is to serve homeless
individuals, the 21,000 people experiencing homelessness in our streets in any given year. but we also assist where we can on place based special projects. whether it be we receive extra funding to work in the library or to work in a specific neighborhood. we are happy to do that if we're able to have the resources and we -- b.a.r.t. and muni essentially is funding the hot team to have two full-time hot staff members there. they're focusing on stations -- they started really focusing from em barring -- ebargadero and the tunnels between the stations where we are finding people inside the tunnels which is a huge safety concern.
the hot team has contacted 258 individuals. we have made 128 referrals to services outside of our system and that we've made 266 different connections to folks. let me define what all those terms mean. by contact, that means a client has been engaged and educated of services available to them. a referral is client was educated on a particular service that they fit the criteria for. and a connection is that they successfully completed the -- whatever the referral was. they went to a resource center, a drug program. we've had fairly good successes. i don't have data on how much the things have improved at those stations.
i think the eyeball test tells me that there's significantly more work to do. but i think the thing that is important to remember is that in a lot of cases, the folks who were at the stations maybe engaging in drug dealing or other behavior is not conducive to the area, they are not homeless. we are focusing on the folks who are most in need in and around the b.a.r.t. stations and trying to get them connected to the appropriate services. we don't have enough of anything. with 21,000 people coming through the city every year and despite we have more permanent housing than any other city in the united states, we are only able to help about 2,000 people a year and shelter about 7,000 people a year. clearly, it's a challenge, but i think when we do find individuals who are very sick or
long term homeless, we are prioritizing them as we would anybody we encounter on the streets who is a high priority client. a couple of recommendations, improving conditions at the b.a.r.t. station is not primarily a homelessness issue. there's challenges related to design, poverty, cleanliness that also need to be addressed. ty do think that moving forward, we can and will focus on b.a.r.t. stations as part of the unified command model that we're working on with public works and public health and the police and fire. and our department all working together to try to address hot spots and to really also try to address people who are the highest users of multiple systems in the city. i think we should also consider expanding the b.a.r.t./muni pilot from b.a.r.t. police and from the hot team, this has been successful