San Diego’s homeless population is a complex mix

by on September 19, 2010 · 2 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Economy, Ocean Beach, San Diego, Veterans

By Michael Stetz / Union-Tribune / September 18, 2010

Not every homeless person pushes a shopping cart full of clothes, blankets and second-hand possessions. Not all are haggard, drunk and smelly. Not everyone is an adult, and some choose to stay on the streets.

For certain, there are commonalities. Studies have shown that alcohol abuse, drug addiction and mental-health problems are common in this population. Single men make up the largest group. Minorities are overrepresented.

But the full spectrum is long and complex.  Demographers said the county has about 8,500 homeless people, a number that’s growing because of the economic doldrums.

Starting Monday, more than 200 volunteers will launch an ambitious effort to register the homeless in downtown San Diego and then get the neediest ones into assistance programs.  The survey takers likely will find a diversity of people struggling to survive. Here are some of their stories.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Tipsy McStagger September 20, 2010 at 9:51 am

One group that will surprise a lot of people is homeless active duty military. Yes that’s right. Uniformed active duty military personnel who sleep in their cars. They use the base gym showers in the morning and head to work. Don’t get me wrong, their numbers are very small and for the most part uncommon but they do exist and in my opinion, that shouldn’t happen at all. The main reason this happens is the service member getting completely wrong information when they are transitioning from geographical area to another when switching duty stations. The sad part is that there is no accountability for the clerks and supervisors whose job it is to put out accurate information so this kind of thing doesn’t happen. I know this because I deal with it occasionally in my job.


avatar dave rice September 20, 2010 at 11:51 am

Reading UT comments on articles like that just makes me want to kick puppies.


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