San Francisco’s Health Department has confirmed startling suspicions that the city was providing alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other substances to the homeless population currently isolated in hotels leased by the city.
San Francisco Health Dept. confirms it is providing alcohol, weed, nicotine & other substances to the homeless they are housing in hotels during coronavirus quarantine— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 7, 2020
The Health Department has justified this decision by stating that the distribution of the narcotics might prevent quarantined individuals from venturing outside to seek them out on their own. Temporary residents are also receiving methadone in order to assist with heroin cravings.
The San Francisco Chronicle spoke to Jenna Lane, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Health:
“They’re doing San Francisco a great service by staying inside,” Lane said. “We’re saying, ‘We’re doing what we can to support you staying inside and not have to go out and get these things.’” The health department is also making clinicians and social workers available to anyone who wishes to begin addiction treatment while under DPH’s supervision in the hotels.
The narcotics were not purchased using taxpayer money according to Lane, who says that only private donations were used to fund the distribution. Some 27 people were given tobacco rations and 11 received alcohol.
Roughly 270 people are living in the leased hotels, the majority of whom are homeless.