The sold-out planned ‘‘doom loop” tour of drug-infested San Francisco was canceled, and community leaders tried to hold a “positive walk” instead — only to still stroll past addicts getting high and homeless camps.
Curious tourists and locals had shelled out $30 a pop on Eventbrite for a weekend tour promising an up-close-and-personal experience with San Francisco, “the model of urban decay” — complete with walks past its “open-air drug markets and vacant office and retail spaces.
But the tour’s guide, only listed as “SF Anonymous Insider,” failed to show at Saturday’s event, claiming he was afraid to carry it out because of all the controversy around it.
“Unfortunately, the substantial media interest means that it is not possible to preserve my anonymity while publicly posting the tour’s time and meeting location,” he wrote in a message to customers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Community activist Del Seymour and others with the nonprofit Code Tenderloin — who had gathered at the tour’s designated starting point to protest the event — then led about 70 people on an nearly 2-mile “anti-doom loop tour” through areas such as City Hall, Union Square, Mid-Market and the Tenderloin District.
One of their stops, the Civic Center district, was eerily empty except for half-baked drug addicts bent over after taking a hit on fentanyl and other drugs.
As the tour group walked past shuttered stores such as the Whole Foods grocery store on Market Street, drug deals were happening in broad daylight.
A homeless man yelled at some in the group as they passed by the encampments.
As Seymour took the group to the Glide Memorial Church and a nightclub called the Power Exchange in the Tenderloin neighborhood, participants passed by rows of tents, many with homeless addicts passed out inside.
In the corners, men exchanged crumpled up money for balls of foil.
Some openly smoked fentanyl and other drugs as the tour group walked past them.
The stench of urine mixed with human and animal feces was at times overwhelming as Seymour quickly walked the group past the notorious corner of Hyde and Turk streets, where drug deals run rampant especially “once the sun goes down,” a local told The Post.
Some of the homeless men and women laying on the street corners looked up in confusion as the tour group walked past them.
Serena, a group member who brought snacks and water in her bag, stopped to give some of the homeless men and a woman some of her food.
The woman, who was passed out on the ground, was so high on drugs that she couldn’t even lift her head to say thank you.
Another man took a long deep breath out of a pipe and blew smoke into the air.
He grabbed one of the snacks Serena offered.
“It’s hard because housing here has turned into a crisis,” Serena told The Post. “It feels like City Hall isn’t listening to the community and this is the fall out of the broken systems that we are seeing.”
During the two-hour tour, Seymour talked about various programs available in the Tenderloin, including subsidized low-income housing where families pay only $400 for a three-bedroom apartment that normally would rent for $5,000 to $8,000 a month.
Seymour also pointed to the various services available to the homeless in the area, including free meals and housing, but also told The Post part of the struggle involves getting those who need help to recognize they need it.
“If I’m unhoused and have mental challenges, you can’t just spend 30 seconds and then walk away after I say no,” he said. “You need to sit down with me and talk to me in a gentlemanly manner. It might take an hour, it may take two, but you have to give me that time and build that trust with me so we can make some sort of compromise.”
As for the “doom loop” tour, the activist said, “I fell out of the chair laughing because of the meanness that people in San Francisco have to even suggest something like this.
“This is not healthy or helpful at all for our people,” he said. “We don’t want to live in the situation we are living in. We want to do something about it, but you can’t do something about it when people beat you down.”
Dany Vallerand said she initially wanted to take the advertised “doom loop” tour because she usually didn’t feel comfortable going through the area on her own.
“I just thought it would be very interesting, and I hoped the money would go to a good cause, like some charity,” she told The Post. “I was hoping to explore the Tenderloin in a way that I normally wouldn’t feel comfortable doing on my own and accompanied by other people with a different point of view.”
Vallerand said that while she was “perfectly happy” to take the anti-doom loop tour instead, she noted the economic downtown of San Francisco has affected many residents such as herself, as flagship businesses have left the area and property value going down.
Vallerand said she recently sold her condo $150,000 below her asking price.
“It is very hard to see it happening here,” she said.
More than 20 businesses, including Nordstrom, Whole Foods and Old Navy, have left the area since January 2022.
While locals such as Vallerand decided to take the opposition tour, others who signed up for the original “doom loop” version were disappointed they didn’t get what they paid for and left.
But Serena said she decided to participate in the “positive” tour because the initial Eventbrite listing offended her.
“They wanted to showcase the doom of the Tenderloin, and to me, it sounded very f–ked up,” said Serena, who did not want to provide her last name. “I can’t believe it sold out.”
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