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A stillborn baby was found at a city-funded homeless tent village

An aerial view of a Civic Center safe sleep site homeless encampment near City Hall in San Francisco, Calif. on October 30, 2021. Last week on Tuesday, San Francisco housing project for homeless development is rejected by a majority of the city supervisors with an 8 to 3 vote. | Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A stillborn baby was found in the port-a-potty of a city-sanctioned homeless encampment last January, the San Francisco Fire Department confirmed to The Standard. 

At about midnight on Jan. 7, 2022, the fire department responded to a report that a stillborn baby was found in the portable bathroom of a tent village referred to as a “Safe Sleep Site.” 

The safe sleeping sites were opened after UC Hastings sued the city for deteriorating street conditions at the onset of the pandemic. The stillborn baby was found at a site that was located in a rotunda in front of San Francisco City Hall.

The site closed in June 2022 after operating for a little over two years.

The operator of the site, the nonprofit Urban Alchemy, has since moved on to open a homeless shelter in Lower Nob Hill and was recently granted a contract by the city to perform homeless outreach. The organization holds $62 million in contracts in San Francisco while also providing homeless services in a half-dozen cities.

Kirkpatrick Tyler, head of government and community affairs for Urban Alchemy, said it did not house pregnant women at the site as a policy but that staff was unaware of the pregnancy. The organization conducted a review of its policies in response to the incident, Tyler said.

"In this case, unfortunately, our staff was not informed of the pregnancy by the resident or her partner during intake nor were there any noticeably apparent signs that the resident was pregnant," Tyler said.

"When we became aware of this situation, we quickly identified the resident and helped connect her with emergency medical care. We also acted immediately to notify the proper support and authorities," he said.

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing was contacted for comment.

David Sjostedt can be reached at