San Francisco removes sidewalk boulders intended to keep tent camps out

The San Francisco Public Works Department has removed numerous boulders along city streets just after a band of residents placed them there to deter open-drug dealing and tent cities for the homeless.

People in the neighborhood around Market and Dolores streets, which had become a haven for both, took matters into their own hands several weeks ago and raised more than $2,000 to to pay for dozens of the rocks, according to the New York Post.

The city's population has grown increasingly frustrated with its homelessness crisis, which has come to define San Francisco, at least at present, at a level comparable to that of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

The boulders, however, proved not only to be a temporary solution but a problematic one.

Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru told CNN that people began pushing them into the streets, and replacing them on a daily basis was wasting too much of the agency's time.

Neighborhood residents, meanwhile, were bombarded by hate mail and phone calls from homeless advocates lambasting their efforts.

The San Francisco Public Works Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from FOX Business.

Earlier this month, a Public Works spokesperson told KTVU that even though the city had no part in putting the boulders in, it had no plans to remove them, despite complaints from advocates that carting in the rocks was cruel.

A new campaign, meanwhile, is urging residents to put aside their political differences and support finding homes for more than 1,000 people who have no permanent dwelling. The “All In” campaign, launched in July, has the support of baseball’s Giants and the NFL’s 49ers, as well as Airbnb, Google, Postmates and dozens of nonprofits and other businesses.

Philanthropist Daniel Lurie, founder of the anti-poverty nonprofit behind “All In,” says he wants to inspire people in a city known for its liberal politics to tackle a problem mired in negativity, despair and partisan fighting.

“Some people are fed up, some people are exasperated, some people are just giving up and we need to bring all of those people and say, ‘Listen, here are solutions that you can get behind,’” he said. “We’re all going to have to sacrifice a little bit.”

A one-night count earlier this year found the number of homeless people increased 17% over two years to more than 8,000 people, according to The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the city is booming with well-paying tech and finance jobs that critics say are squeezing out the working and middle classes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.