Vermont Street Drug House Finally Shuttered

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A photo of 584/586 Vermont Street.
584/586 Vermont Street.  Photo: Paul McDonald

After years of complaints about loud noises, mounds of trash, screeching cars and random people coming and going, the occupants of 584/586 Vermont street, some of whom were suspected of engaging in illegal drug sales, were evicted, and the home boarded up, last month.

Vermont Street residents had spent years discussing what could be done about the nuisance.  In an attempt to dislodge the house’s transient occupants, one neighbor engaged with local and regional authorities, researched the property’s ownership, and organized letter writing/email campaigns.

The home was well-known to authorities as the scene of possible drug crimes and the center of a car theft ring.  It’d been raided at least three times over the past five years.  The San Francisco Police Department collaborated with the California Highway Patrol to break up the car theft ring, monitoring the comings and goings of visitors to the residence and organizing an undercover sting. 

584/586 Vermont Street’s primary resident was the daughter of a mother who had become bedridden and lived in a dingy lower unit of the main house for several years. At one raid in 2017, an elderly woman – thought to be the neglected mother of the primary resident – was found in the lower unit.  She was wheeled out on a gurney and placed into an ambulance, all the while wailing.  Elder abuse authorities were notified.  The vacated lower unit was quickly occupied by additional transients. 

In another occurrence, police were called when a transient youth was found dead from a drug overdose; the Medical Examiner removed the body.

Children were often seen at the house. Adults were spotted driving away, followed by cries from kids wondering why they’d left.  Neighbors periodically confronted a frightened, drug-addled, person cowering at their front door.

In the days leading up to the eviction there was an uptick in activity at the property. An individual was arrested outside the home for car theft.  A loud fistfight broke out the night before the removal, with people running up and down the street screaming at one another.

The mood among Vermont Street residents was buoyant as news spread of a locksmith installing new locks, and a carpenter nailing plywood to cover broken windows. The new owner is the brother of the woman who had presided over the previous chaos.  He resides roughly two hours away from San Francisco; it’s unknown how he’ll proceed with management or sale of the property, which is reputed to be severely damaged.