Ironically, for all the bashing Willie Brown got, he was one of the few people I've seen who had something of a clue
"No one wishes to provide the resources," Brown said. "Only in those cities where (homeless people are highly visible) is there any strong advocacy. . . . What you don't get is a uniform, concentrated, massive resource attack or a change in laws of who can be restrained."
As the economy drooped and tourism dipped, Brown was nagged by the tourist and restaurant industries to do more to keep panhandlers and the homeless off the streets.
But Brown says he can't help people who refuse help -- those who are mentally ill, paranoid about government aid or simply refuse to give up their outdoor lifestyle. Police, district attorneys and court officials must follow the state's strict standards for when to arrest and hospitalize people against their will.
Brown said he underestimated the "irrationality quotient" of the homeless.
"When I came into office I assumed that making services available would and could cause a reversal of the situation for most people on the streets," the mayor said. "I was wrong."