Blocked sidewalks: how boulders became a flashpoint in San Francisco’s homeless crisis

In a city with a $12bn budget and tech millionaires, more than 8,000 people are forced to sleep on the streets each night They appeared seemingly from out of thin air last month: two dozen knee-high boulders, at first glance, unremarkable, placed with remarkable precision along a sidewalk in a quiet alley in San Francisco. Within days, they became a flashpoint for a city in the midst of a homeless crisis. Residents of the Clinton Park alley, located to the north of San Franciscos trendy Mission District neighborhood, funded the rock installation to deter loitering after what they described as a year of flagrant drug-dealing and unpredictable behavior. Housing advocates and other civically minded critics were quick to call the …