Caitlin Foster fell in love with San Francisco’s people and beauty and moved to the city a dozen years ago. But after repeatedly clearing away used needles, other drug paraphernalia and human feces outside the bar she manages, and too many encounters with armed people in crisis, her affection for the city has soured.
“It was a goal to live here, but now I’m here and I’m like, ‘Where am I going to move to now?’ I’m over it,’” said Foster, who manages Noir Lounge in the trendy Hayes Valley neighborhood.
A series of headline-grabbing crime stories — mobs of people smashing windows and grabbing luxury purses in the downtown Union Square shopping district and daytime shootings in the touristy Haight-Ashbury — has only exacerbated a general feeling of vulnerability. Residents wake up to news of attacks on Asian American seniors, burglarized restaurants, and boarded-up storefronts in the city’s once-vibrant downtown.