California homeless crisis: San Francisco tackles costly waste problem with 'poop patrol'

As California grapples with a growing homeless population, human waste and trash-strewn streets are being blamed for declining in tourism in San Francisco and illness in Los Angeles.

The homeless crisis is growing in Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco, despite the state pouring billions of dollars into cleanup efforts. Homelessness in Los Angeles County has spiked by 12 percent over the past year, and the area has the nation’s largest outdoor homeless population.

“For every one person that becomes housed, two people fall into homelessness," Jamie Almanza, the executive director of Bay Area Community Services, said last week during a panel discussion at the Commonwealth Club of California. "Now, with the new data, it's for every one person housed, three people fall into homelessness."

The condition of San Francisco’s city streets is deteriorating. Last year the city received 27,000 requests to pick up human waste. However, the city is making an effort to clean up the city streets. Residents are uploading photos to the “Snapcrap” app to alert the "poop patrol" -- a team of public works employees -- to help deal with the feces problem. There is also a website called that is sponsored by the local government, that maps human waste matter and used needles in San Francisco and San Diego.

Last year, city officials downplayed a report by Reform California, citing a burgeoning rat problem across California -- especially in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco -- which leads the nation in homelessness.


In San Francisco, 25 public bathrooms were added, at a cost of $200,000 each, to help with the effort.

Fox News' William La Jeunesse contributed to this report.