Did the homeless issue in San Francisco get better or worse? (POST 2)

In the article posted on the SFist, “2017 San Francisco ‘Homeless Census’ Reveals That Despite Numbers, Things Are Worse, Not Better” written by Beth Spotswood who is a writer and best known for her Culture Blog on the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate.com. Spotswood discusses in the article that the homeless issue in San Francisco has gotten worse throughout the years. The article goes briefly over the history of San Francisco’s homeless population. The article is mostly facts and numbers from the Homeless Census that is done every two years in San Francisco. Spotswood argues how the numbers have slightly decreased however, the problem has gotten worse. Spotswood states “…the homeless population decreased by 0.5%, but a closer look at the numbers — as taken this past weekend by the Chronicle’s Heather Knight — shows that San Francisco’s homeless problem is as bad as it’s ever been.” In other words, the homeless population decreased by half of a percent. Although this is great — looking at the numbers, they have gotten worse than before.

The city council does not provide enough public housing and assistance for those in need. Furthermore, I believe the main point in the article is that the problem of the city of San Francisco is not getting any better and must be figured out before it goes out of control. Spotswood proves that the numbers that showed up from the Homeless Census shows that although the population went down, the problem has enlarged. Spotswood shows this through various rhetorical strategies, such as her use of logos, pathos, and ethos. These strategies are used to convey that the homelessness issue in San Francisco is improving slightly, however, there is still a lot that we need to do about the issue.

Science Daily

Logos- The Use of Facts

Spotswood argues that the city of San Francisco is doing something about the homeless crisis through her use of logos, “and the chronicle has dug into the money numbers, noting, ‘The city spent $275 million on homelessness and supportive housing in the fiscal year that ends Friday, up from $241 million the year before. Starting Saturday, that annual spending is projected to hit an eye-popping $305 million.’” (Spotswood) Spotswood convinces the reader through his use of facts that something is being done to improve the homeless situation in San Francisco including statistics about the total budget for homelessness and supportive housing has increased since the past fiscal year, indicating that the city sees this as a major issue. Spotswood uses facts and statistics all throughout the article providing data from the Homeless Census. Spotswood convinces the reader with all the data he states making his claim and argument very credible and persuasive. When the reader reads the facts Spotswood states, he/she cannot help but believe them since they are coming from a credible source.

Pathos- The Use of Emotions

Furthermore, Spotswood convinces the reader that the issue is hard to resolve through her use of pathos “‘We feel like we’re a maid service. We clean, we come back. We clean, we come back. The real question is, ‘Are we getting anywhere?’ We don’t want to just continue going around in circles.’ Noru told the Chron.” (Spotswood) The example of the man responsible for cleaning the homeless camps makes the audience feel that this issue is hard to resolve since most homeless aren’t cooperating. Not only that, but it convinces the reader that people feel helpless, that no matter how much they do, everything gets dirty again. Furthermore, Spotswood notes that “‘The Powell Street BART Station is basically a homeless shelter, and not a well maintained one. There are homeless people sprawled all over the places, sometimes shooting up, sometimes with clothes not completely covering their backsides. Some people have seen people masturbating. There’s a smell, the dirt. The needles, the human waste, the garbage. I just don’t understand why we think it’s ok,’” (Spotswood). Spotswood convinces the audience through the emotion of disgust. When the reader reads this quote, they feel disgusted of how Bart, a place where people use for transportation, is filled with disgusting smells and garbage.

As one can see, Spotswood use of Logos and Pathos do a pretty good job of convincing the reader that the article is reliable. Spotswood provides sites at the end of the article as well that lead to where some of the facts were taken from.

Work Cited:

Spotswood , Beth. “2017 San Francisco ‘Homeless Census’ Reveals That Despite Numbers, Things Are Worse, Not Better.” SFist, 26 June 2017, sfist.com/2017/06/26/2017_san_francisco_homeless_census.php.

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