SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – In San Francisco’s Tenderloin, a city employee was stabbed while working at one of the city’s SRO hotels, which provide permanent supportive housing. Now, city workers and union officials are calling on the city to do more to ensure workers’ safety.
The city worker was stabbed four times. They will survive, and a suspect has been arrested, but city workers want more to be done before something like this happens again.
San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing confirmed that on Wednesday morning, the staffer was attacked at the Windsor Hotel on Eddy Street.
“A resident from the Windsor Hotel barged into the office of a case manager with a knife or something that appeared to be a knife and proceeded to stab the case worker four times in front of another worker,” said Cheryl Thornton, a Service Employees International Union member.
Thornton also works for San Francisco in the Tenderloin and was told about the incident by a fellow union member.
“It’s not surprising, given the circumstances down here,” she said. “From block to block there’s all kind of crime going on down here. Last week I was walking to Hastings garage and somebody started yelling and screaming at me, and then I just stood there and he walked away and then he saw another woman and started beating her in the head.”
San Francisco police were able to locate and arrest the stabbing suspect, 27-year-old Oscar Chatman, for attempted murder. They were also able to recover the knife.
The city employee who was stabbed has not been identified but was taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive. But city workers like Thornton say the city must do more to keep their employees safe, especially those in the Tenderloin.
“Just like anywhere else, people deserve to have access to health care. It’s a basic human right. And so we’re committed to doing that work to the best of our ability. But at the same time, we didn’t come down here to lose our lives, we didn’t come down here to be maimed. And so we want the city to put safety ahead of cost,” she said.
San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing says, “All city departments have a zero-tolerance policy for violence at our worksites, and HSH is dedicated to maintaining a safe working environment that is free from violence and threats of violence.”