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San Francisco doom loop tour charges $30 to see city’s ‘squalor’

A “Doom Loop Walking Tour” is set to take place later this month to show off the “squalor” in the Tenderloin and SoMa. | Source: Jeremy Chen/The Standard

Free walking tours are a common sight in San Francisco.

Whether by Coit Tower, Union Square or Fisherman’s Wharf, the City by the Bay draws plenty of tourists angling for a firsthand look at San Francisco’s iconic views and landmarks.

Later this month, however, a walking tour aims to bring attention to the “squalor” on San Francisco streets.

Set to take place on Aug. 26, the tour plans to lead participants from City Hall to SoMa, the organizer, SF Anonymous Insider, said on Eventbrite.

There is a charge of $30 for general admission to the tour.

READ MORE: San Francisco Doom Loop Tour: Competing Walk To Show Tenderloin’s Best

“The tour will start at City Hall, and continue through Mid-Market, the Tenderloin, and Union Square,” the webpage for the event says. “We will view the open-air drug markets, the abandoned tech offices, the outposts of the non-profit industrial complex, and the deserted department stores.”

A homeless person lays on the sidewalk in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco as pedestrians pass by on Sept. 24, 2022. | Source: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

According to SF Anonymous Insider, two guides—described as “an urban policy professional, card-carrying City Commissioner overseeing a municipal department with an annual budget over $500m, and cofounder of San Francisco’s largest neighborhood associations”—will host the tour.

SF Anonymous Insider did not respond to requests for comment by publication time.

Randy Shaw, executive director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, questioned why anyone would pay money to go on the tour.

“Why would anyone pay $30 to walk around areas they can see for free?” Shaw told The Standard in an email. “If people want to see the highlights of the Tenderloin’s history and tour the national Uptown Tenderloin Historic District, they can join a weekly tour put on by the Tenderloin Museum.”

According to the Eventbrite page, the total walking distance expected on the tour is 1.5 miles, and sneakers are advised.