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Phone Numbers to Call to Help Folks on the Streets

This listing came from the August 22, 2015 article in the Chronicle Time for Non-Homeless People to Rant and Rave by Heather Knight.

Whom to call

Erica Sandberg and San Francisco police put together a list of common homeless scenarios and where to report them. A call to the city’s general number — 311 —can get the problem get routed to the correct team.

Unconscious people: Call 911 and the Homeless Outreach Team at (415) 734-4233.

Public drug dealing, drug use or inebriation: This is a crime, but reporting it is a personal decision. Some people aren’t bothered by it. If you are, call the police nonemergency line at (415) 553-0123.

Erratic or threatening behavior: If the person appears to be in danger, call 911. If they appear to be mentally ill but not posing a danger, call the Mobile Crisis Treatment Team at (415) 970-4000.

Aggressive panhandling: Begging is legal. Harassing or stalking is not. Call 911 or the police nonemergency line depending on the severity.

Nudity: Whether the person is intentionally exposing himself or is so out of it he doesn’t realize he’s exposed, it’s illegal. Call the police nonemergency line.

Urinating or defecating on the street: It’s illegal, but it’s also a personal decision about whether to report. Urinating in an alley because there aren’t enough public toilets is one thing, but defecating and public exposure in the middle of Market Street is another. Any of the aforementioned numbers could be appropriate depending on the situation.

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