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San Francisco Church Installs Watering System to Drench Homeless and Keep Them Away

March 18, 2015 in Blogs

By Zaid Jilani, AlterNet

“There is only so much you can do,” a spokesman for the church said.

KCBS, a news station out of San Francisco, has a shocking story about Saint Mary's Cathedral, the main church of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The station has learned that the cathedral has installed a special watering system to keep homeless individuals from sleeping in the doorways. Similar anti-homeless measures have been carried out in other cities including London and New York, as AlterNet's associate managing editor Allegra Kirkland recently reported

The church has a sign saying “No trespassing” but it posts no warnings that individuals who lay down in the doorway will be sprayed by water. KCBS notes that the sprinkler system in the ceiling above the doorway “ran for about 75 seconds, every 30 to 60 minutes while we were there, starting before sunset, simultaneously in all four doorways. KCBS witnessed it soak homeless people and their belongings.”

They also captured video of the sprinklers:

“We refer them, mostly to Catholic Charities, for example for housing,” a spokesman for the Archdiocese told KCBS. “To Saint Anthony’s soup kitchen for food, if they want food on that day. Saint Vincent de Paul if they need clothes. We do the best we can, and supporting the dignity of each person. But there is only so much you can do.”

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