Open Community Forum: Homelessness in Ocean Beach – July 6th

by on July 6, 2010 · 34 comments

in Culture, Homelessness, Ocean Beach, Organizing, Popular

Homeless sticker NewOPEN COMMUNITY FORUM:

To Discuss the issues surrounding


When: Tuesday, July 6, 2010, 8:00 p.m.

Where: The Parish Hall, Sacred Heart of Ocean Beach

4776 Saratoga Avenue

(Hall faces 2000 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.)

“We recognize the complexity in our community of homelessness. We regret the polarization which has occurred in our community which is making it difficult in addressing these issues. We look to our community to come together to work on transforming the issues before us.”

The Forum is open to all interested stakeholders from the Ocean Beach Community to discuss concerns, and solutions surrounding the multitude of issues surrounding Homelessness in Ocean Beach. This will be the first of several forums sponsored by the Faith Community of Ocean Beach.

On Thursday evening, July 1, the organizers of the community forum on Homelessness Issues met as a part of the preparatory process. Representatives from the faith communities were present, and were joined by facilitators from the San Diego Restorative Justice Mediation Program (SDRJMP). Certain ground rules were agreed upon to ensure a productive evening. Those who plan to attend the forum should be aware of the rules in advance.

1)We are aware the current issues are of great public interest, and as such, the media will be interested in what occurs. In weighing the interests of the public with those of the participants it has been decided members of the media will be allowed to attend the forum, but no cameras or recording devices will be allowed in the Parish Hall;

2) All participants will be required to sign in. We are requesting an e-mail address to forward a summary report of the evening’s work. If the participant does not want to give an e-mail address, hard copy reports will be available at the various community churches.

3)At the time of the sign-in, participants will be given a name tag (first name only), and a set of rules for the forum. Before the forum commences, participants will be able to ask questions about the rules, and then required to sign an agreement indicating they intend to follow the rules. The rules are below for the participants’ consideration beforehand.

The goal of the evening is to create a creative and safe atmosphere for those involved to collaborate on developing solutions toward peace in the community. We look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday.

Peace Circle Rules

1)I agree the facilitators are in full control of the Peace Circle.

2)I agree to speak the truth.

3)I agree only one person may speak at a time, and I will not interrupt.

4)I agree to listen to those who are speaking, and if necessary, to summarize accurately what another has said.

5)I agree to speak respectfully to all during the Peace Circle.

6)I will not use threats, profane language or obscenities during the Peace Circle.

7)I have come to the circle to engage in solutions.

For those interested in attending and engaging in a collaborative effort, please take some time to reflect on the following questions and be prepared to discuss the following questions:

What do you love about Ocean Beach?

What has drawn you to Ocean Beach whether you are a business owner or resident?

What is negative about Ocean Beach?

What kind of community do you desire Ocean Beach to be?

What is in the way of making Ocean Beach the kind of community you desire?

What resources do we have to make Ocean Beach the kind of community you desire?

What resources do we need to make Ocean Beach the kind of community you desire?

How do we address the threat to peace in our community this summer and beyond?

(Download the pdf flier HERE. )

Sponsored by the Faith community of Ocean Beach:

Sacred Heart of Ocean Beach Catholic Church

Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Bethany Lutheran Church

First Baptist Church of Ocean Beach

St. Peters by the Sea Lutheran Church

Point Loma United Methodist Church

All Souls Episcopal Church

Second Chance Ministries

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Sunshine June 28, 2010 at 10:11 am

thanx for calling this forum. my hope for the evenings events is peaceful, open communication for all. Count me there.


just my 2 cents June 28, 2010 at 10:15 am

Who will be the moderator in this?
How will the word get out out on this ?
Sounds like a great idea…..


Jack June 28, 2010 at 10:31 am


To answer your questions, the forum is being sponsored by the faith communities. We plan on using a “Peace Circle” format which will allow everyone an opportunity to speak. The facilitators are drawn from individuals in the faith community who have been trained , and facilitators from the San Diego Restorative Justice Mediation Program ).

The actual process, will be explained at the forum….

As far as getting the word out, I have asked the OB Rag staff if they could generate a flyer which I sent as PDF to them. we have a week and we would like to see attendance and input from all stakeholders; merchants, residents, and houseless.

And on a final note, Thank you for your vote of confidence…and you too Sunshine.

Peace, Jack


Sunshine June 28, 2010 at 11:13 am

i’ve just created a flyer. once it’s up (yes, editor, i need your help with this) ….print, post, & e-mail at your leisure…..


Jack June 28, 2010 at 11:22 am

Thank you Sunshine…Frank has the PDf of the original flyer I generated and he is going to e-mail it to those who are interested (a couple hundred) and ask them to print and hand it out over the next week. A true community effort.

Peace, Jack


jim grant July 2, 2010 at 7:39 am

The Beacon has done several stories on the homeless as you may know. They have asked I sit in on this meeting and get a few shots …Is that acceptable ?


Frank Gormlie July 2, 2010 at 8:32 am

You got our okay.


Jack July 2, 2010 at 9:06 am

At our preparatory meeting last night, the organizers unanimously agreed we did not want the forum to be a media event. The potential distraction and chilling effect on the participants will be counter-productive. The media is welcome to attend, but no cameras or recording devices will be allowed inside the Parish Hall. We appreciate the cooperation of all who plan to attend.

Peace, Jack


jim grant July 2, 2010 at 9:17 am

The local paper has focused attenton on this matter for months…where were these ” organizers” all this time..
I will forward this stance on to the Editor.


Frank Gormlie July 2, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Jim, don’t forget this community forum Tuesday night the 6th is being sponsored and facilitated by the coalition of local churches in OB and Point Loma. These churches are already feeding homeless people every other Tuesday night, and some churches sponsor meals on other days by themselves. So, these “organizers” have been around. The local papers and this blog have been focusing attention of homelessness in OB for a while now – as did CityBeat focus on homelessness in San Diego not too long ago.

We agree and accept the conditions of this forum as we concur that if the mainstream or other media are broadcasting simultaneously during the forum, it would be extremely distracting and potentially lead to grand-standing or chest beating or swallowing goldfish. We need a community discussion of the problems without a camera or recording device whirring at the same time.


jim grant July 2, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Well you changed your mind alwful fast on this one …why ? Four posts up you agree …..
I have not seen to many of the faith based ones at the seawall where all the stuff goes down…..or on newport at dusk…or under the pier at 6 am….or down on the cliffs south of the pier where it gets really gross , ugly and dangerous…..
I guess feeding once every two weeks is better than nothing.
Seeing how this IS a Community issue to say no photos is BS …..I was at the other meeting months ago and EVERYONE stood up and spoke their mind no problems at all……..I think somebody is already trying to call the shots….its BS !


Frank Gormlie July 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Jim, I said it was okay with us to take photos but clearly we are not sponsoring the event. We agree and concur with the sponsors’ conditions: no media broadcasting during the event, period. Enuff said.


jim grant July 2, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Settle down ? Dont patronize me . ENUFF SAID ok I will be silent then….yeah right…. ! You made sure I was at The Black to photograph events last week…you e mailed me several times to make sure I was going. Remember? Now you switch it up and say ” we are not sponsoring the event” thats kind of weak. Where is your sense of justice in this ?? Try and be consistent in your fight to do the right thing. If this was the OBMA or SDPD or anybody else and the were having a meeting to discuss the issue of homeless kids etc….and told you….” This is open to the public come one come all , BUT OH by the way don’t bring a camera” you would be organizing another protest I think. NO I know you would!!
It is ” Homelessness in Ocean Beach” who cares who ” the sponser ” is….it is a community issue you should know that after the actions you saw and took on the street….Many in the community of Ocean Beach may not be able to be at the Community Forum…..It is only natural and right the event be doucumented for the OB Community. Which includes photos of any and all concerned. If someone does not want photos taken they could speak up and say so. The ” organizers” could also say …” if you dont want photos taken please say so” …
little bit of the golden rule here huh ? he with the gold makes the rules…
nuff said….and settle down.


jim grant July 6, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Jack, Would it be possible to have photos the first 5 minutes or last five minutes…


Jack July 6, 2010 at 2:19 pm


Excuse the delay, it is a bit hectic today. Let’s talk this evening before hand. We will attempt to make some accommodation on the part of the media…you included.

Peace, Jack


jim g July 6, 2010 at 2:25 pm



doug porter June 30, 2010 at 9:01 am

sorry to take so long to comment–been out of town. can you believe that this article gets so few comments? that pretty much proves the point that the “anti-homeless” crowd are more interested in displaying bigotry (the homeless are less than human) than they are about actually taking time away from their “busy” lives to maybe do something positive.


Kenloc June 30, 2010 at 11:18 am

It’s more of an announcement than an article.Perhaps that’s why so few comments,not much to comment on here.You gotta drop the bigotry stuff,it accomplishes nothing but firing people up and that’s not what this meeting is trying to accomplish. Everyone has valid points to make.I don’t think it is bigotry to not want your neighborhood inundated with homeless people. some are less compassionate than others,but calling someone a bigot seems harsh. Yes,people do have busy lives.My wife and I both work full time jobs and have a 1 year old.I will try to attend this meeting though.Some folks are genuinely busy dude.I hope we actually see some results from this.I think many are skeptical that this will accomplish anything.


Jack June 30, 2010 at 11:42 am

Good morning guys (non gender specific)

Ken is correct, it is announcement and not really a call for comment other than “yes, I will be there,” “no, I won’t be there,” “or what’s the use,” etc, etc, etc….

And I understand Doug’s point as well, but it seems a bit premature. Because I did not ask for a “show of hands,” and I take full responsibility for that, we really do not know how many from our community will show up. It could be one, two twenty or two hundred. I understand work commitments and family, and all the other things which fill our lives. Absence is not an indictment.

Additionally, I will generate a report of what occurred and post it in the OB Rag (of course with your permission Frank), and I believe this will be the first of several forums…all will be explained.

So, I will once again ask for civility…and try to keep it rsvp’ing sort of comments.

As for will it do any good? I cannot promise OB will become the epicenter for resolving the world’s problems…or even our own. Let’s take one step at time, and see what we can come together with as a community. Trying beats whining everytime.

Peace, Jack


La Playa Heritage June 30, 2010 at 9:40 am

Hi All,

Thanks for putting on this forum. Yesterday the City Council moved all Homeless functions from the Mayor’s Planning Office to the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC). For decades, the Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) were mis-used by the Redevelopment Agency’s. San Diego literally stole money from the poor to subsidize luxury condos downtown. Now CCDC and the Redevelopment Agency has to pay the $228 million back into the CDBG fund that could be used to solve the Homeless problem city-wide and OB.

link to the document on

Also if the City AND County create a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) and have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), then CCDC and City of San Diego Redevelopment Funds could be used for Emergency Shelters city-wide including OB.


annagrace June 30, 2010 at 10:04 am

Wow. I read the link. Good work on behalf of the homeless.


Jack June 30, 2010 at 11:44 am

Thank you for this timely bit of information….sometimes it pays to get out of OB. But only sometimes……

Peace, Jack


Jack June 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm

By the way….Frank is e-mailing the announcement to some of you in a PDF format. Since this is a real grassroots event, I am asking those of you who have recevied Frank’s e-mail to download and print the announcement, and pass out at least five in the community…including merchants.

Thank you, thank you…and thank you.


Sarah July 1, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I’ll be there.

Thank you, Jack.


just my 2 cents July 2, 2010 at 11:14 am

I hope the organizers have a plan in place for the immediate needs of the one’s who actually want help. That is food, a place to sleep and any urgent medical needs. I beleive most already know these 3 things are needed NOW… Meeting after meeting after meeting is not going to change anything. Forum after fourm , chatter after chatter is not needed…..That’s what city hall is for.


Dave Rice (a.k.a. psd/anonymouscoward) July 2, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Bring your actionable ideas on down!


Frank Gormlie July 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm

The churches ares sponsoring this and already cooperate together in feeding homeless people every other Tuesday night. This is a discussion of the problems by and among civil neighbors, businessowners, homeowners and others who are concerned about this whole situation. Why would you assume that the organizers and facilitators have “a plan in place for the immediate needs” of anyone? Don’t know about you, but I can only recall one “meeting” recently at the OB Town Council general meeting. At that event, it was members of this blog who not only made a presentation about the issue to the council, but were the only ones who brought “actual” homeless people to the meeting. The main complaint at that meeting by the homeless, as was reported by this blog, was lack of public restrooms. Not coincidentally and ironically, this is one of the main complaints about the homeless by local merchants – that they don’t use public restrooms. Hmmmm…..


Abby July 6, 2010 at 10:32 am

I have food to donate, can I drop it off at the church?


Frank Gormlie July 6, 2010 at 11:18 am

Abby, I don’t know, but the church that is hosting this meeting will be serving dinner to homeless up until 7, so, perhaps if you brought it over to them prior to that, it would work. Just a thought.


Jack July 6, 2010 at 2:22 pm


Bless your heart. Tonight before the forum, Sacred Heart will be preparing dinner for the needy. If you come between 5:00 and 6:00, someone should be able to help you out….and by the way, all who read this are encouraged to come to Sacred Heart prior to the forum to meet folks and share a meal….or pick a broom or a mop at the end of dinner.

Peace, Jack


doug porter July 6, 2010 at 2:05 pm

frank was on KPBS this morning talking about this issue. here’s the transcript:


La Playa Heritage July 6, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Thanks again for this forum.

Linked below please find our document entitled “Potential Local Funding Sources and Emergency Shelter Locations, A Citizens Solution to Resolving San Diego’s Regional Homeless Problem.”


annagrace July 6, 2010 at 10:56 pm
doug porter July 7, 2010 at 9:09 am

many thanks to the over 200 people that showed up last night. our reporting on that event will appear later today.


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