San Francisco Catholic Church Installs Doorway Water Showers to Drench Sleeping Homeless

By Melanie Nathan, March 18, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 9.23.16 AMI recall protesting the installation of viciously anti-LGBTI Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone at the Archdiocese in San Francisco. Now it seems that it is not only gays that the Catholic Church in San Francisco has under attack and wants to keep from its opulent doorway. The venom has now spewed to the Homeless, in the form of dousing those seeking shelter with water, on these cold winter nights.

KCBS is reporting that Saint Mary’s Cathedral, the principal church of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, has installed a watering system to intentionally douse the Homeless with water to prevent them from sleeping in the cathedral’s doorways.


Catholic ChurchThe cathedral, at Geary and Gough, is the home church of the Archbishop. There are four tall side doors, with sheltered alcoves, that attract homeless people at night.

“They actually have signs in there that say, ‘No Trespassing,’” said a homeless man named Robert.

But there are no signs warning the homeless about what happens in these doorways, at various times, all through the night. Water pours from a hole in the ceiling, about 30 feet above, drenching the alcove and anyone in it.

The shower ran for about 75 seconds, every 30 to 60 minutes while we were there, starting before sunset, simultaneously in all four doorways. KCBS witnessed it soak homeless people, and their belongings.

Let us note- this is not a garden sprinkler to water a lawn – its an outside shower – above the doorway – specifically designed to douse the Homeless and to waste what is left of our precious California water which we may be completely out of within the next year.

It is alleged that the sprinklers were illegally installed without a permit.

The Catholic Church has zero respect for San Francisco and California life as it is!



More news about the discriminatory behavior of the Church: SAN FRANCISCO, March 6, 2015 ( – San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors says the archbishop’s effort to ensure the city’s Catholic schools uphold their faith is discriminatory, and one member of the board says the city is considering legal action. At the same time, a reported 80 percent of teachers in the archdiocese’s four Catholic high schools have sent a petition to Archbishop Cordileone that accuses him of fostering “mistrust and fear.” Read.

#‎ArchdioceseSFdisgrace #Homeless


SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Saint Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco will dismantle a system that pours water on entrance areas of the church frequented by homeless after receiving a formal notice of violation from the city.

In a story first reported by KCBS, the principal church of the San Francisco Roman Catholic Archdiocese used the watering system to keep the homeless from sleeping in the cathedral doorways.

But the system also drenches some homeless people and violates city building and safety codes, as KCBS reporter Doug Sovern found out.

After inspecting the cathedral, the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection filed a notice of violation against the archdiocese and the cathedral, giving them 15 days to remove the system. In response, the archdiocese has taken out a plumbing permit to remove the entire watering system, which releases hundreds of gallons of water every night. READ MORE

Do you not think that the Church should be made to publicly apologize and pay a fine.  In fact Mr. Pope how about selling that gold throne and crown and buying a few buildings to house the SF Homeless as compensation? And how about compensation for the lost water – like a few million dollars to the Water District?

bishop catholic church rector wilson st mary's cathedralUPDATED March 20, 2015:

Here is the so called apology?

The rector of Saint Mary’s Cathedral and the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese, Bishop William Justice,  issued a statement defending the role of the archdiocese and the cathedral in supporting homeless programs:

The idea was not to remove those persons, but to encourage them to relocate to other areas of the Cathedral, which are protected and safer. The purpose was to make the Cathedral grounds as well as the homeless people who happen to be on those grounds safer.

We are sorry that our intentions have been misunderstood and recognize that the method used was ill-conceived. It actually has had the opposite effect from what it was intended to do, and for this we are very sorry.

Justice said since the archdiocese has learned the system required a permit and may violate the city’s water-use laws, work to remove this system would be completed by the end of the day.

Perhaps the Bishop, who had admitted that this has been going on for 2 years, should have been more clued into the ACTUAL impact of the water dousing of homeless, rather than scrambling for excuses at this time. I find his story of relocation laughable!!! He  does admit that the Homeless was a problem and this system was installed specifically to get rid of the problems the Homeless were bringing to the property. And if I was his lawyer I would have recommended he avoid the contradictions in his statement and the further questions it raises. If anything I think this statement makes it worse for the Church. See video.

26 thoughts on “San Francisco Catholic Church Installs Doorway Water Showers to Drench Sleeping Homeless

  1. I’m pretty sure Jesus would not approve. I’m actually out visiting the Bay Area this week and heard this on the radio. Totally hypocritical.

  2. I’m pretty sure Jesus would not be cool with this. I’m in Bay Area for the week visiting and heard this on the radio. It’s appalling.

  3. Hmmm. Melanie, you don’t have to print this comment, but you might want to do a bit of digging. In response to advocates for the homeless in Rome, the Vatican has installed showers – not to drive them away, but to provide that most basic need which was not being met.

    I’m not a Catholic or a defender of that Faith, but just to make sure that you’re on track. . .

    1. hahahahahahahahaha !!!!! It is not me who said it was intentionally installed to drive the homeless away but mainstream TV channel investigative reporter

    2. P.S. To help a Homeless person wih his basic needs – how about inviting him in for a shower Jim ??? Have you read the article before commenting. They are asleep in doorway and getting drenched every how many seconds. People who want to shower get to turn it on themselves and in San Francisco we usually have a choice between hot and cold!!!

      1. ” … how about inviting him in for a shower Jim ???”

        How about Melanie inviting some of the homeless into her place for a bed and a shower?

          1. You are confused. I was commenting on your comment to Jim. Why bring the Pope into this? Are you saying that James Wherry is the Pope? MAMA

            1. Surel Peter you realize the Pope heads up the Catholic Church. You dont think he should know whats going on in his regime?

      2. ” … how about inviting him in for a shower Jim ???”

        How about Melanie inviting the homeless into her place for a bed and a shower? ☻☻☻

        1. I actually took in a homeless Guatemalan teenager that I met through my work as an immigration attorney doing his case probono…
          Sorry for the duplicate comment up there. I was having some wireless connection issues on my phone when I posted it. Anyway, I was just struck by the actions in San Francisco. On the radio, the commentator said that it was to drive out the homeless. I thought it was ironic I was visiting San Francisco when I saw Melanie Nathan’s post about this and felt like commenting. Hypocrisy is not limited to any specific religion or institution. Would be nice if people showed more compassion to others.
          Melanie Shapiro

          1. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it. The faith based groups here in marin County including my own congregation rotate nights in the winter for homeless people to sleep inside the social hall and provide dinners. But we need services to provide 100% 24/7 shelter. when I see so much wealth in the hands of a few I feel like something is bitterly wrong…

  4. The POPE encourages all to HELP the homeless. As a Catholic I am embarrassed by the action of this parish and its leaders. SHAME ON YOU! I wonder how the Pope will respond when he hears about this – and he will…I promise you!

  5. Please folks let’s all contact the Vatican. Popo Francis need to know about this. This is criminal .SFPD should be involved.As a member of SF Homeless Board I’m pissed!!This Church will not beat this one

    1. As a member of Sf homeless board I hope yo use this article and the other press out there to write to Cordeleone and the City Supervisors to pursue the lack of permit etc…

  6. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    WTH??? Where’s compassion and love for our fellow man? This has got to stop!!

  7. This reminds me of the medieval times where the catholic church was very rich but never helped the poor and needy – it was beneath them.

  8. Maybe they’re just trying to wash the smell out of the halls. Ever been in a narrow area like that where homeless people like to sleep? It usually smells like body odor, alcohol, urine, and sometimes feces. A lot of homeless don’t care where they use the bathroom, especially while they’re drunk. We have that problem here where we have viaducts that go under the train tracks every few streets. Also, you can’t argue unless you’ve actually been homeless. I was homeless as a teenager, I know their habits well.

    1. Their so called “habits” then should be known to you – where else do you expect people who have nowhere to go to pee or shower? Stupid comment my friend- there is no excuse for what the Church has done – if they wanted to avoid merely “washing” their doorway then why dont they invite the homless in for a shower and a pee? And if you read the article you would note that they admitted it was to keep the homless away – not to clean up after them. Surprising that a once homeless person would show such outrageous homelesphobia?

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