OB Town Council Passes Resolution Calling on Government to Deal with Chronic Homelessness at the Beaches

by on September 19, 2014 · 10 comments

in California, Civil Rights, Economy, Homelessness, Ocean Beach, San Diego

obtc_logoAt their most recent Board meeting on September 10th, the Ocean Beach Town Council passed a resolution that called on government – all levels of government – to deal with chronic homelessness in OB, at the beaches and coastal areas of San Diego and the San Diego River channel. It also stated that it should be a priority to end the homelessness of veterans.

The resolution passed was in support of addressing chronic homelessness “with best practices”, calling upon the City and County of San Diego to bring homelessness resources, outreach, and programs to the San Diego coastal communities.

It read:

The Ocean Beach Town Council calls upon the City and County of San Diego to now bring their successful practices, and homelessness resources and programs … beyond Downtown San Diego and into District 2 of the City of San Diego and our coastal communities, inclusive of Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach and the river beds.

The resolution also –

” calls upon the City and County of San Diego to make it a priority to end chronic and veteran homelessness regionally, and not just in Downtown San Diego”

The resolution listed the homelessness resources and programs as the use of “the Housing First model with permanent supportive housing; coordinated outreach, intake, and assessment; providing supportive services that are specific to client needs; and building collaborative partnerships”

In an announcement, the OB Town Council stated:

This resolution is a beginning step toward addressing homelessness in Ocean Beach and we will be collaborating with other community groups and service providers to continue dialogue toward ending chronic homelessness in Ocean Beach and our surrounding communities.

Read the OBTC’s homelessness resolution.

This step is an extremely positive step by such a significant local organization in Ocean Beach as the Town Council. Essentially, the Board took a courageous call on government to do its job with all the resoursecs available and pointed on government to address the chronic homelessness “beyond Downtown” that also exists in the San Diego River and all over the beaches . The Town Councinl has been besieged over the years with complaints by residents and businesses about the homeless and the effects of homelessness on the village, its residents, storefronts and tourists.

It is a strong, moral demand on the City and County – and by extension – the State and the Feds – to deal with what everyone who live or visit the coastal communities of the region knows – that there’s many homeless people outside of the downtown areas that are the most heavily impacted by homelessness.

On the other hand, it’s “all paper” – that is – the Town Council itself doesn’t have the resources and it has no legal authority “over” those levels of government, the City and County.

It is well known that the plight of the homeless and the “problems” caused by so many people being  homeless has racked the residents and merchants of this community.  Over the years, the OB Rag has attempted to be a forum and platform for the causes, plight, problems, complaints, attempts to help and assist, community meetings, workshops, and has tried to balance the voices being heard.

Community groups have concerns and even have meetings to address homelessness – but rarely are the homeless themselves invited to those meetings, so the main voices heard are those with complaints.

At times in OB, it seemed over the years that the only people concerned with the homeless were the churches in the area, and those groups who fed homeless folks who showed up on the grass or parking lot. People have been threatened with arrest if they fed homeless free food.

So, we certainly welcome a new voice – making demands on our governments – to deal with the chronic and the veterans especially.

 

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Steve neighborly September 19, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Wow – what a difference a few decades make. Remember the bumper stickers that said, “Keep U.S. out of O.B.”? Well now in a complete about face to those mantras of the 70’s and 80’s, the O.B. Town Council has voted to say it’s the U.S. Government’s problem and provide as much government support to deal with a local issue Has the complexion of O.B.’s character changed that much or is it a case of selective support?

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Avatar Brent E. Beltran September 19, 2014 at 2:08 pm

On October 7 the city council will vote, once again, to site the emergency winter homeless shelter in my community of Barrio Logan. This will be the fifth time in the last six years they have done this against the wishes of residents, businesses and property owners. Barrio Logan has been shit on for decades by the city and they continue to do so. It is high time other communities step up and host the shelter and give Barrio Logan a much needed break from the issues that hundreds of transients bring to a community of around 6000 people.

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Avatar Seth September 19, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Calling on the City and County of SD to better address homelessness? Great.

Housing First model that includes housing with on-site services and treatment? Cool.

In OB? Yeeeeah, no thanks.

A lot of places with the highest concentration of homeless in SD are right where the services are, as Mr. Beltran correctly notes above with regard to Barrio Logan/East Village. I agree that other places need to step up and provide a more comprehensive approach to the problem. Also think that, to a large extent, OB and the other beach communities are already taking on their fair share.

Not against providing services per se, just don’t support anything that has to potential to grow our already sizable homeless population just because it sounds good in theory.

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Avatar Christo September 19, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Steve,
How is homelessness only a local issue for OB or Barrio Logan?

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Avatar obracer September 19, 2014 at 4:09 pm

It’s illegal to sleep at the beach overnight, enforce current laws.
It’s illegal to live out of your vehicle, enforce current laws.
It’s illegal to live in our beach parking lots, enforce current laws.
It’s illegal to designate camping areas at dog beach,
Ask police to STOP telling people to ” go to dog beach ” our dunes are full of trash and debris.
Police wake the homeless up between 5:15 am – 6:00 am at the beach, after 6:am you can light a fire and stay at the beach, what is the point ? this practice creates permanent camps at our beaches. Enforce current laws. Fire pits close at 12 midnight.
You can see the camp fires all night from the parking lots and streets. Enforce current laws.
Yes, homelessness IS a big problem all over San Diego, but police need to help reduce the influx, not encourage it by stating ” being homeless is not illegal”, wearing a badge and refusing to enforce current laws IS illegal and it’s made the problem worse.
Veteran or not, all humans deserve our help to get back on their feet, the legal way.
We have private and city agencies that specialize in finding ways to help the homeless start over, lets support and encourage these agencies to continue.
Ocean Beach is not a designated homeless camp, yet.

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Avatar Christopher Field September 24, 2014 at 6:08 am

The polices hands r tied…the constitution gives them the right to choose where they want to live as long as they r not doing anything harmful

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Avatar Obecian September 19, 2014 at 4:38 pm

I think in OB the homeless encompass at least three different classes of people:

1) People who are genuinely down on their luck, lost a job, become homeless, and now trapped in a spiral where it’s difficult to get back on their feet again.

2) People suffering from mental illness

3) “Homeless” kids with pit bulls and cell phone who perhaps read a Kerouac novel and are living rough out of desire more than necessity.

There may be others but I’m willing to bet a significant percentage falls into one of these three categories. I have great compassion for the people in the first two first two, but they require very different types of assistance to get them off the street and back into a healthy living situation. The people in the third need to be sent home to mommy and daddy.

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Avatar Christopher Field September 20, 2014 at 5:28 am

I was homeless in o. b. And police avoided me when I asked for help..they lied to me about help from the hot team..they really didnt seem to care that i was homeless..but they sure tried to find a way to make it harder on me..

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Avatar August September 20, 2014 at 4:08 pm

When are the HOUSED PEOPLE of Ocean Beach going to SOBER UP & TAKE CARE OF THEIR SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESSES?

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Avatar OB Dude September 20, 2014 at 8:41 pm

After the Chargers games and before the Padre games?

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