When Bay Area cities clear homeless encampments, proponents of such plans often say they're trying to fix a public health issue, or that encampments have become unsafe and unhealthy.
On Tuesday, the Berkeley City Council doubled-down by taking no action on a proposal that would have temporarily stopped enforcement of an ordinance to clear sidewalks of homeless people's things.
But some are making the case that treating housing as an issue of public health is more effective.
In this podcast episode of The Bay, you'll listen to a conversation with Dr. Bamberger about the how aging while homeless can lead to more severe health problems, and why he thinks Medicaid and other healthcare funding should be used to pay to house sick, homeless people.
"We have used public health as the reason to clear a lot of these encampments," says Dr. Joshua Bamberger, a family medicine physician and associate clinical professor at the University of California San Francisco.