Sign Petition Against San Diego’s Proposed Ordinance to Ban Homeless People From Camping on Public Property

by on April 21, 2023 · 1 comment

in Civil Rights, Homelessness, San Diego

From Petition Stop Criminalizing Homelessness in San Diego Further

It is very short-sighted and unconscionable to pass the ordinance proposed jointly by Councilmember Whitburn and Mayor Gloria as it currently stands.

The proposed ordinance proves to be uncertain in its efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of San Diego’s homeless population as it calls for inhumane practices by confiscating people’s property and making it effectively illegal to exist as someone without a home. We demand that it be revised and written in the best interest of ALL San Diegans so that we do not criminalize homelessness further.

In the past, the city of San Diego took many historic steps in addressing its long-standing homelessness crisis such as with Operation Shelter to Home. Both Mayor Todd Gloria and Councilmember Whitburn have run on claims following the supported homelessness policy and reforms related to housing first. However, this proposed ordinance completely goes against much of what they claim to stand for.

The proposed ordinance offers no solutions to the homeless population of San Diego, but instead allows for the authority to remove them from the premises of “unauthorized encampments”, regardless if any shelter is available and offers no alternative solutions which is a great disservice. These unauthorized encampments include areas on which San Diego’s homeless population rely on such as:

  • Within two blocks of any shelter
  • In any open space, water way or shoreline
  • In any transit hub
  • And in Balboa Park, Mission Bay Park, Presidio Park and all the shoreline parks in OB, Mission Beach, PB and La Jolla.

Currently, there are not enough designated campgrounds or shelters that would allow for the movement of homeless persons as a result of this ordinance. Instead, we are only aware of mere “talks” of setting up campgrounds in underutilized land within the city, which are not required for this encampment ordinance to pass. Other aspects of the ordinance support turning our community against one another. The inclusion of allowing that “residents could sue the city if they report encampments that aren’t cleaned out.” simply pits human against human and does not actually work towards solving the issue.

Finally, this ordinance is trying to be enacted without any concrete solutions for increasing shelter or funding for existing aid organizations. It seems as though the writers of this ordinance are engaging in magical thinking in that the city will somehow “have shelter for 75 percent of the total number of homeless residents counted in the annual Point in Time Count.” Even if this were to miraculously come to fruition by the time the ordinance is proposed to be enforced mid April 2023, experts unanimously agree that the Point in Time Count severely underestimates the actual population of unsheltered individuals. Only aiming to support 75% of that is even more deplorable. What will we do for the 25+% that will have nowhere to turn?

We, the Mustard Seed Project, along with our fellow community members and concerned San Diegans, believe that this decision was not made in the best interest of our community.

In light of this ordinance being enforced, widespread economic crisis, and the need for continued progress, we make the following demands:

  • Remove language about banning encampments nearby shelters and public services/spaces (except for schools) ? how else will people be able to access these services?
  • Find definitive and adequate temporary low income housing and shelter space before enforcing the encampments ordinance ? how else will people be able to exist while unsheltered?\
  • Increase target goal to finding space for 90% of PIT count ? how else will people be able to exist while unsheltered especially since this number is known to be an underestimate?
  • Commit to allocate funding to apartment buildings that focus on rapid-rehousing and case management services rather than shelters ? how else can we work to end homelessness as opposed to just what the general public can easily see?

Please help us keep fighting and continuing to pressure the city of San Diego. Share this petition to those you know and use our email templates to urge local officials on rethinking their plan as well as enacting new policy based on our demands.

Go Here to Sign Petition

Brief Summary on who we are and what this petition is fighting for —

More than 1,200 San Diego residents, the city with the nation’s fifth-largest homeless population, are facing homelessness. Given the incoming enforcement of this ordinance in the next few weeks of April 2023 and stating the belief that this decision was not made in the best interest of our community, we organized this petition drive on to advocate for keeping rethinking this plan. The signatures will be sent to the mayor Todd Gloria, Councilmember Whitburn (the author of this ordinance), the San Diego Housing Commission, and the San Diego City Council.

Mustard Seed Project is a student-driven, grassroots, volunteer-led organization with a mission to connect unsheltered and low-income individuals to services and programs. Learn more about us at or follow us on instagram @mustardproject.

Mustard Seed Project started this petition

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mat Wahlstrom April 24, 2023 at 5:20 pm

Tomorrow at 2:00PM, the City Council will be considering the flawed Tenant Protection Ordinance. If you can’t attend in person or by Zoom, please consider submitting a public comment. Here’s a link to more information,


Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: