How San Francisco’s “Video Vigilantes” Are Fighting the Opioid Crisis

Stills and footage of piles of used heroin needles and human excrement detail the city's growing problem.

Some tech billionaires in San Francisco are trying to solve the city's homeless problem (Mason Trinca for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
The Washington Post/Getty Images

Rampant public opioid drug usage and homelessness in San Francisco is driving some resident “video vigilantes” to document the mess they live with on their streets to get the city’s attention.

One such citizen, Adam Mesnick, a restaurateur who lives and works in the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood, posts daily photos and videos of people using drugs, urinating near his restaurant, or lying passed out on the sidewalk, CNN reported.

“More mrsa and staph on the streets of San Francisco,” Mesnick wrote in one post accompanied by several shots of sores littering people’s bodies.

In another series of photos and video clips, a man can be seen lying in the street, face down, with his shorts pulled down below his rear. Human feces in front of a doorway is shared in another and, in a video taken from inside Mesnick’s restaurant, a man is seen urinating across the street.
The business owner says he isn’t trying to shame homeless people, his goal instead is “to actually find help for these people.”

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.