SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Though South of Market is known for high tech companies, restaurants, and high-end nightlife, one area is scaring and angering a lot of people who live there.
During daylight, the plaza that's part of the San Francisco Federal Building at 7th and Mission street is mostly empty. But, Supervisor Matt Haney says when it starts to get dark and until the wee hours of the morning, it's become far different over the past few months.
"There are hundreds of people out there, many of whom are selling drugs, using drugs, serious health needs, trash spread out through the plaza. It really has ripple effects throughout the neighborhood," said Haney.
There are several apartment buildings and residential hotels throughout the area, filled with people who are fed up.
"We don't come out here at night. When night falls, we go home. We don't come out this way," said mother of two Cherrell Bishop.
"The thing that surprised me is all the dope going on around here right outside the federal building. I've lived in the city all my life, born and raised, it really seems to be getting outrageous," said another resident, Anthony Ricci.
Supervisor Haney complained saying, "And, no one there to help. No security. no foot patrols, no maintenance from the federal government."
Several signs in the plaza read, 'No disturbances, 'No narcotics, drugs, alcoholic beverages, soliciting, vending, debt collection, explosives or weapons.'
But residents say most of those rules are being broken.
"I am seeing crack addicts. I am seeing people shooting heroin in the middle of the street. I am seeing people that do not care about their lives," said Bruce Knight.
That prompted Haney to write 13 federal and local officials requesting a multi-pronged solution that includes: private and or federal security daily, regular maintenance and cleaning of the plaza, access to health care, and most especially, better San Francisco Police prioritization of the plaza and more foot patrols.
Add to that, regular outreach by San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team, more high definition security cameras, and a sped-up redesign of the plaza itself.
The federal government sent a statement saying it's aware of the problem and is concerned for public safety. Federal law enforcement officers are working with local police to