San Francisco Health Dept. gives out alcohol, drugs to homeless housed in quarantine hotels

People on the street near the MSC South homeless shelter, where at least 70 people have now tested positive for COVID-19, on Monday, April 13, 2020, in San Francisco.(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 11:43 AM PT — Saturday, May 9, 2020

San Francisco is reportedly handing out drugs and alcohol to its homeless population. According to reports, the city’s public health department has provided alcohol, marijuana and methadone for free to those seeking shelter in hotels during the pandemic.

The department has argued the handouts were meant to help homeless hotel guests successfully complete their quarantine and was offered to self-described addicts only.

Locals noted the coronavirus has presented a unique challenge to the overpopulated, at-risk community.

“I think it’s a complex thing to be able contain all these homeless people in a situation like we are in right now, because on a normal day it’s very hard to cope with so many homeless people in the city,” explained one resident. “Then in this situation, it’s even worse.”

Pedestrians walk to the edge of the sidewalk to avoid stepping on people in tents and sleeping bags on Monday, April 13, 2020, in the tenderloin area of San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

One former addict believes the move will encourage substance abuse, blurring the line between harm reduction and enabling.

Housing the homeless during the pandemic has been part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s ‘Room Key‘ project, which provided self-isolation and temporary housing options for at-risk populations.

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