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SF Homelessness: The Rise and Fall of Tent City

San Francisco is home to about 7,500 homeless people, of whom 3,000 sleep in the streets. Early this year, Mayor Ed Lee made a controversial decision to relocate San Francisco’s homeless people to make way for the 1 million Super Bowl-bound tourists.

With nowhere to go, many of these people ended up relocating to a corridor on 13th Street underneath the 101 freeway. The resulting encampment - known as Tent City - struck many as a powerful visual of San Francisco's homelessness problem, until it was cleared last week.

Matterport and Scan Service Partner, Capture It 3D, travelled to the impromptu neighborhood to create virtual tours of Tent City. The homeless neighbors interviewed detailed their personal stories and their trials and tribulations from being shuffled around the city.

These immersive tours provide a glimpse into the lives of homeless neighbors in our city. As the city continues to clear out homeless camps, these Spaces serve to preserve a moment in San Francisco history and help others experience first-hand the conditions of this temporary neighborhood and the people who built it.

"These [Matterport tours] will be the only evidence that for a brief moment, in the face of risk and hardship, people managed to make a life in this place."


-Jacob Ward, Al Jazeera America


This segment was produced by Al Jazeera America after the 72 hour notice to vacate the area was posted. Below, explore a few of San Francisco's homeless camps, that will soon be cleared out and forgotten.

13th Street, Victor's Row

13th Street, Row of Tents

Victoria's Block

Victoria and Lisa live on this block in the SoMa neighborhood. Lisa has recently become homeless, and Victoria proudly told us that she “owns this block.”


Models Created By: Capture It 3D
New Coverage Provided By: Al Jazeera America
Location: San Francisco, CA