Open letter on homelessness presents uncomfortable truths

Homeless people in San Francisco are bringing a “tech bro” down.

In an open letter to the city’s mayor this week, Justin Keller, a developer and start-up entrepreneur, said the last straw came recently when his parents came to visit.

What are you going to do to address this problem? The residents of this amazing city no longer feel safe. I know people are frustrated about gentrification happening in the city, but the reality is, we live in a free market society.

The wealthy working people have earned their right to live in the city. They went out, got an education, work hard, and earned it. I shouldn’t have to worry about being accosted. I shouldn’t have to see the pain, struggle, and despair of homeless people to and from my way to work every day.

I want my parents when they come visit to have a great experience, and enjoy this special place.

I am telling you, there is going to be a revolution. People on both sides are frustrated, and you can sense the anger. The city needs to tackle this problem head on, it can no longer ignore it and let people do whatever they want in the city.

I don’t have a magic solution… It is a very difficult and complex situation, but somehow during Super Bowl, almost all of the homeless and riff raff seem to up and vanish. I’m willing to bet that was not a coincidence. Money and political pressure can make change.

So it is time to start making progress, or we as citizens will make a change in leadership and elect new officials who can.

Keller later apologized for calling homeless people “riff raff”, but by then it was too late.

Keller’s demographic came under fire of its own, given that tech workers are responsible for the gentrification of the city which has put housing out of the reach of many people.

“Justin Keller thinks life comes with customer support,’’ read one response on Twitter, which was momentarily consumed with outrage, hard as that might be to believe.

The Christian Science Monitor’s Cathaleen Chen rose to his defense, pointing out that the city no longer can ignore the problem, and that it is fixable if people really want to fix it.

“They need to be a little more tolerant”, one woman who lives in a tent under a bridge told The Guardian. “It’s not like they’re going to let us come shower at their house.”

Related: Open letter to a guy who wrote an open letter to the mayor of San Francisco about homelessness (Medium)