San Francisco cathedral to remove sprinkler system used to keep homeless away
St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco is shown on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. (AP / Jeff Chiu)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, March 18, 2015 9:02PM EDT
SAN FRANCISCO - The Archdiocese of San Francisco says it has dismantled a sprinkler system it installed at the doorways of the city's cathedral to soak the alcoves and prevent homeless people from sleeping there.
The archdiocese made the announcement Wednesday after a barrage of criticism because the system installed at St. Mary's Cathedral during one of the worst droughts in California history was drenching homeless people at night.
KCBS Radio first reported undeterred homeless people were using umbrellas and waterproof gear, but they were still getting soaked as they slept in the doorways.
The archdiocese, which supports and helps the homeless, apologized in a statement and said its intentions were misunderstood. It says it was trying to encourage homeless people to use other areas of the cathedral.