San Francisco unveils taxpayer-funded open-air Christmas market that is change into dystopian hellhole
- A video shows that the Christmas market in downtown San Francisco is not so festive
- The video was posted on social media channels by a concerned SF resident
- It shows drug paraphernalia and people sleeping nearby
- Promotional videos tell a different story and make the event a “family friendly” event.
- A local resident who lives in the area said she feels forced to leave her home because of addicts
- ‘Winter Wanderland Holiday Village’ is located near the now closed Tenderloin Center
San Francisco’s taxpayer-funded open-air Christmas market, intended to be a healthy holiday getaway for families, is actually a dystopian hellhole besieged by the city’s famous drug addicts.
At least that’s what concerned residents living near the market have revealed to DailyMail.com, with one owner filming and posting on social media what she describes as a “horrific decline” in the area.
Her clip shows a homeless man under a blanket just a few yards from the Winter Wanderland market on the sunken Hallidie Plaza near City Hall.
The camera then pans down to the market itself, where two people dressed as stuffed animals perform on a small stage. Our camerawoman then zooms out to the left and films a man drinking from a bottle of brown liquor.
Winter Wanderland was established in Union Square in downtown San Francisco, just minutes from the now-closed Tenderloin Linkage Center. It was set up to help addicts get clean, but DailyMail.com soon revealed widespread illegal drug use had taken place.
The footage of the concerned mother-of-two stands in stark contrast to promotional material posted by holiday market organizers on social media channels, which described the event as “family-friendly”.
What was hoped to be a wholesome holiday getaway for families, San Francisco’s taxpayer-funded open-air Christmas market is actually a dystopian hellhole besieged by the city’s famous drug addicts. A promotional video from the organizers of the Winter Wanderland Holiday Village
In footage filmed by the concerned mother, viewers can see a person sleeping next to what appears to be a pile of clothes, with used syringes scattered among the belongings.
The video is then sped up to show their proximity to Hallidie Plaza and Powell’s Winter Wanderland Holiday Village BART station.
The 25-second video ends in an almost empty seat with two disguised people dancing on a stage – one wearing a snowman costume, the other a reindeer.
In a caption, the woman, who asked not to be named, wrote: “Misery, substance abuse, overdose, drug dealing and the mayor’s ‘Winter Wanderland’ at Hallidie Plaza and the Powell BART station in downtown San Francisco. Who is this charade for?’
However, promotional material uploaded to social media by the organizers of the Winter Wanderland Holiday Village shows a different, more elaborate version of events.
The video begins with a juggling performer accompanied by Christmas carols before panning to a group of children eagerly watching.
In the footage filmed by the concerned mother, viewers can see a person sleeping next to what appears to be a pile of clothes, with injections scattered among the belongings. The 25-second video ends in an almost empty space with two disguised people dancing on a stage – one wearing a snowman costume, the other a reindeer
The advert then cuts to a woman dressed as beloved child character ‘Minnie Mouse’ while wearing a COVID-safe face mask, with the caption ‘Balloon spin fun and face painting’ at the bottom of the screen.
The woman politely waves to viewers and says “Hello there” before the video ends at the festive Christmas tree display.
While preparing Christmas dinner for her family, the mother of seven-year-old twins told DailyMail.com about the “nightmare” her once-loved city has turned into.
“I’m a property owner just above this BART station in Powell,” she said.
‘[I’ve seen a] terrible drop since March 2020. It’s a nightmare, it’s all drugs.”
The San Francisco resident said she has a love-hate relationship with the city but was forced to relocate due to the deteriorating situation.
“We just made an offer for a house in Alameda that we can’t take anymore,” she said.
“I have a love-hate relationship with the city. I don’t want to move, but I have no choice.’
A man juggling to entertain families can be seen in the advertisement. A woman who appears to be dressed as a beloved Disney character, Minnie Mouse, also features in the promo, with a group of children eagerly watching
Union Square Alliance, with a $500,000 grant from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, installed Christmas trees, wreaths, snowflakes and other hanging ornaments, as well as a series of booths for on-site vendors.
The economic recovery in downtown San Francisco has been patchy, and 2021 has seen episodes of large-scale retail theft.
The city’s offices have the lowest occupancy rates of any major city as tech-savvy employees continue to work from home. This closed many businesses and left the streets eerily empty, allowing crime to spread.
The Union Square Christmas tree was hit by mischief and vandalism earlier in the month, but organizers weren’t worried about heading into the festive season.
San Francisco is run by a leadership that appears to have prioritized covering up the pervasive and deteriorating situation in its downtown area.
Their progressive, humanitarian self-image is at odds with legislation – even when it comes to solutions that save lives, such as controlling drug sales and use across the city.
The festive market is just a 15-minute walk from the now-closed Tenderloin centre, which was supposed to put addicts in touch with rehab facilities but was revealed by DailyMail.com to operate as a secret illicit drug use website and has since shut down.
The Tenderloin Center was opened by San Francisco Mayor London Breed earlier this year to help deal with the city’s ongoing drug crisis, and it cost about $22 million to operate.
The Tenderloin Center was opened by San Francisco Mayor London Breed (left) earlier this year to address the city’s ongoing drug crisis – some of the country’s most expensive to the taxpayer – are still riddled with human feces and drug needles littered
The site has often been called a “safe place” for addicts to “get high without getting robbed,” according to a person who used the center.
In the first four months of the center’s opening, only 18 of the more than 23,000 people it welcomed on the site are said to be referred.
Overall, less than one percent of visits ended with a “completed connection” to behavioral health programs.
City leaders, including Breed, now say the site was a “temporary solution” offered to avoid the more than 640 overdose deaths San Francisco experienced in 2021.
Despite their best efforts, 2022 has been almost as deadly as more than 500 people have died from drug overdoses in the California city. In 2021 there were 641.
Officials had also hoped the site would provide a place to deal with the homeless crisis the city has faced in recent months and years.
By some estimates, hundreds of people visited the Tenderloin Center while it was open, and more than 350 drug overdoses were reversed on the spot.
Mayor Breed originally committed just $10 million to the project, but it quickly rose to more than double that estimate.
In total, about 400 people were being assisted daily, according to the San Francisco Department of Health.
A large proportion of those who used the site used it specifically for shelter or food.