Homelessness

‘Hostile Architecture’ Another Obstacle for San Diego’s Houseless

May 16, 2022 by Source

By Heather Hope / CBS8

From armrests in the middle of benches to large rocks added underneath bridges and along sidewalks, some homeless advocates in San Diego call these designs “hostile architecture” or anti-homeless. In Hillcrest along University Avenue, it’s not hard to spot a metal bench at MTS bus stops with armrests that prevent people from sleeping on them.

MTS spokesperson Mark Olson says the benches are industry standard. “Prevents people from sleeping on them, so multiple people can sit down. Partitions also offer dedicated space to sit and help people with mobility issues stand up to get on the bus,” said Olson, via text message. Two of the MTS benches are in front of the Mattarello restaurant in Hillcrest.

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District 2 Candidates on Homelessness in San Diego

April 12, 2022 by Staff

The San Diego Union Tribune Editorial Board sent a 10-question survey to the five viable candidates in the San Diego City Council District 2 race. Here, staff of the OB Rag have separated out their responses based on the subject matter or issue — to be viewed “side-by-side.”

Q: How do you plan to address homelessness at the beginning of your four-year term? What will homelessness in San Diego look like at the end of your term?

Jen Campbell:

As a physician, I know homelessness is, for many, primarily a health problem, /p>

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Give Private Homeowners Incentives to Shelter Homeless People

March 28, 2022 by Source

Monetary Incentives to Private Homeowners Could Help Solve Crisis

by Mark Powell/ Times of San Diego / March 26, 2022

There are thousands of homes in San Diego that have empty bedrooms. Given the right financial incentives, many homeowners could be open to renting out a room to those who are experiencing homelessness.

Housing First advocates believe that the most effective solution to homelessness is permanent housing and that housing for the homeless should be provided immediately, without any preconditions.

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Homeless People in Downtown San Diego Get $2 a Bag to Pick Up Trash Around Their Encampments

March 16, 2022 by Source


The Concept is not new. See what other cities are doing.

Houseless people in downtown San Diego are getting $2 a bag to pick up trash in their neighborhood to earn a little cash as part of a new pilot program.

Retired attorney Brian Trotier handed out the cash as part of a pilot program he created called the Triangle Project which comes from the downtown triangular areas the project covers, one bordered by 16th Street, Commercial Street and National Avenue and the other bordered by 17th Street, Logan Avenue and Commercial Street.

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In San Diego, the Homeless Don’t Count

March 1, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

It’s becoming all the more apparent to critical observers in San Diego, that here in our town, the homeless don’t count. The numbers of the houseless are surging and local government seems just to sweep their encampments from place to place, never really dipping into the real crisis or affecting the real numbers of our fellow humans who don’t have a shelter over their heads.

Lisa Halverstadt at Voice of San Diego peered into the abyss and wrote:

Street homelessness and the misery tied to it appear to be surging to new highs across San Diego.

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City to Clean Out Homeless Camp Along Sports Arena Blvd Tues., Feb.1 – But Will It Be Another Case of ‘Whack-a-Mole’?

February 1, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

An encampment of nearly 100 tents and makeshift structures along a section of Sports Arena Boulevard has been the home for many houseless citizens, but has drawn the wrath and concerns of local neighbors, businesses and the local planning committee – for valid reasons.

But Tuesday morning, Feb. 2, the city will send crews to the sprawling tent city, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria announced Monday. In a press release, Gloria stated:

“The situation on Sports Arena Boulevard in the Midway community is wholly unacceptable. The potential for an outbreak of disease and the threat to public safety compels us to act now. As we continue to provide shelter and wide array of supportive services to unsheltered people living in the neighborhood, we cannot wait for something terrible to happen before we take decisive action.”

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San Diego Makes It to the Parody Website, The Onion

January 7, 2022 by Source

The City of San Diego and Mayor Gloria were recently showcased in the parody/ satirical website, the Onion, which has a readership of 11.7 million readers on Twitter – many more than our own San Diego Union-Tribune (which many San Diegans called “The Onion” over the decades, ironically).

Here it is:

New Initiative Decreases Stigma Against Homeless By Making Majority Of People Homeless

SAN DIEGO—In an effort to decrease the widespread social shaming often associated with being unhoused, a new city initiative unveiled Thursday reportedly aims to decrease stigma against the homeless by making the majority of people homeless.

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Holding the San Diego Housing Commission Accountable for Their Efforts to ‘End’ Homelessness

December 22, 2021 by Source

By Mathew Packard / Voice of San Diego / Dec. 22, 2021

As a not so casual observer of efforts to “end” or even effectively manage the daily impact homelessness is having on our city and on the lives of those experiencing it, I am struck by the pervasive and consistent lack of accountability for those in government responsible.

The San Diego Housing Commission in their 2014 homeless action plan, Housing First, pledged to apply “the power of its federal housing resources to achieve the goal of ending homelessness.” SDHC is a driving force of the national Housing First model (transitioning homeless individuals from the streets directly into permanent housing connected to supportive housing) in the city of San Diego. This year and over more than a decade, the commission has failed to meet this obligation.

Let’s review what the SDHC has done.

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Local Vets for Peace Raising Money for Sleeping Bags for Houseless People in Downtown San Diego

December 17, 2021 by Source

Submitted by Gilbert Field

The “Compassion Campaign” of the San Diego Veterans For Peace is again giving out free sleeping bag sets to the many homeless folks downtown who have no sleeping gear whatsoever. Each set consists of a new Coleman polyester sleeping bag and a nice nylon stuff sack to put it in when the client wakes up each morning.

Three (3) outreach trips took place in the last two weeks and they gave out 60 bag sets to folks who they personally confirmed had nothing at all to sleep under in these colder temperatures. Another outreach trip is scheduled soon, and they hope many, many more trips downtown at night will follow this winter, based on the continued support of the generous folks in San Diego.

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Assess Government-Owned Property for People to Shelter

June 11, 2021 by Source

Every government-owned parcel in the region should be assessed for its viability as a place where people can live or shelter safely temporarily.

By Tamea Kohler / San Diego Union-Tribune Op-Ed / June 8, 2021

Housing ends homelessness. While it’s a complex and layered issue, if we start every conversation about homelessness with the truism that if a person has a home, they are no longer homeless, other aspects can fall into their proper place.

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Bathroom Access Is a Human Right Neglected in San Diego

June 9, 2021 by Source

By Mitchelle Woodson, Jennifer Felner, Megan Welsh / San Diego Union-Tribune Op-Ed / June 7, 2021

Last month, a bystander’s video of Jesse Evans’ encounter with San Diego Police Department officers in La Jolla made national news. Evans’ suspected crime? Trying to meet a basic human function — urination — while Black and homeless in one of San Diego’s whitest and wealthiest neighborhoods.

The SDPD’s response?

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High School Senior Says: ‘Something Needs to Be Done About OB’s Homeless, But Talking Bad About Them Is Not the Answer.’

April 9, 2021 by Source

Editordude: The following post about homelessness in Ocean Beach was written and sent to us by Eliana Phillips, who is a senior at High Tech High International.

By Eliana Phillips

Homelessness in Ocean Beach has been a long standing issue but it has recently been getting more attention.

Local news boards criticize these people and discredit their situations. “The stench by the wall is overwhelming. I barely go that way anymore. So unfair to the actual residents! Come on SDPD-DO SOMETHING,” said one Ocean Beach local.

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OB Town Council Facebook Live Video Meeting – Wed., March 24

March 24, 2021 by Staff

Join the the Ocean Beach Town Council at 7 pm tonight, Wednesday, March 24 for a facebook live video public meeting. They will have a presentation from PATH , an organization that has new homelessness outreach services in Ocean Beach starting up with new funding from the city.

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Mayor Gloria, in OB, Pledges Caseworkers – Not Cops – Will Reach Out and Assist Homeless Community; OB to Be the Test Case

March 12, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Mayor Todd Gloria was in Ocean Beach Wednesday, inside the OB Rec Center touting a new approach to San Diego’s homeless population. The city, he said at a press conference, has put together a coordinated outreach program that will send out 12 outreach caseworkers into neighborhoods across the city to provide help to those living on the street.

The coordination will be through the People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) program whose team members will have the ability to connect the houseless with the assistance they need – that day. Gloria said:

“With this new coordinated outreach program, we’re acknowledging that we need to provide a whole toolbox of options to the people who interact with our homeless.”

In referring to the outreach team, he said:

“They will help them overcome the unique challenges, whether it’s drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness, physical health problems or other legal entanglements. We call it ‘person-centered, neighborhood-based, trauma-informed, housing focused approach.”

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Serial Killer of Homeless Men – Including OBcean – Sentenced to 4 Life Sentences

January 13, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, the serial killer of homeless men, Jon David Guerrero, was sentenced to four life sentences without parole, plus an additional 143 years to life in prison. One of those homeless men was an Ocean Beach man, Shawn Mitchell Longley.

Guerrero, 42, pleaded guilty on Jan. 27, 2020 to murdering four homeless men during a grisly serial killing spree in 2016. Four of the sleeping, homeless men were stabbed to death with rail spikes and two of those were set on fire.

Guerrero also pleaded guilty to five counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of arson. He agreed to be sentenced to four consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole and an additional 143 years to life in prison. This will occur on May 1. The charges stem from his attacks on 12 men and one woman over six months between February and July 2016.

Guerrero is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and he had been treated at Patton State Hospital, then returned to court where he was recently pronounced mentally competent in order to stand trial. He has a history of arrests and mental competency hearings.

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President Trump’s ‘Wishing Well’

July 22, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

What a day yesterday. Earthquakes everywhere.

No, not the 7.8 quake in Alaska. That is in the range of “normal.”

Not the confrontation between Florida Rep., Ted Yoho and New York Rep., Alexandra Ocasio Cortez. There, on the Capitol steps, the GOP congressman called AOC “disgusting,” “out of her freaking mind,” and a “f***ing b**tch.”

That, too, seems to be the new “normal.”

Yoho, in typical Trumpian fashion denied it happened, fudged some empty words, “apologized” on the House floor, where he accepted no responsibility, and instead defended his “passion,” and lassoed his wife and daughters into the mix.

All of which prompted AOC to righteously refuse to accept the non-apology apology. Trump’s promise to send more masked, unidentified, camouflaged troops into cities beyond Portland, into Oakland and Chicago doesn’t rank as an earthquake.

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Homeless San Diegans Grow Desperate as Food Sources Dry Up

April 7, 2020 by Source

By Lisa Halverstadt and Kayla Jimenez / Voice of San Diego / April 6, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic rages through the region and most people stay home, homeless San Diegans are confronting a loss of food resources they have long relied on to survive.

Many meal operations – both organized and impromptu – have halted. Cafés and restaurants that once served as daytime refuges from the streets and in some cases, handed over free food, are no longer open.

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Father Joe’s Villages Monitor Coronavirus Among San Diego’s Homeless Community

March 13, 2020 by Source

There Is No Known Infection Among San Diego’s Homeless Community

Here Is An Update from Father Joe’s Villages on Current Efforts Around Coronavirus

Father Joe’s Villages is monitoring the status of COVID-19, the disease caused by a novel coronavirus, in San Diego. While there is no known infection among the homeless community in San Diego, Father Joe’s Villages is prepared to respond to the complex health needs of people on the streets.

The homeless service provider is currently devoting its resources to collaborating with partners at the City and County of San Diego and will remain up-to-date on ongoing news related to the spread.

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San Diego City Auditor: Much More Needs to Be Done in Addressing Homelessness

February 21, 2020 by Source

The city auditor made a dozen recommendations for the city to do a better job

By Gary Warth / San Diego Union-Tribune / Feb. 13, 2020

The city of San Diego has taken significant steps in addressing homelessness but still needs to do more, a report from the Office of the City Auditor found. The report released Wednesday night Feb. 12 made 12 recommendations, including developing a funding plan and increasing the number of homeless outreach workers.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer tweeted a response to the audit shortly after its release, saying the auditor’s assessment “validates” the city approach recommended in its Community Action Plan on Homelessness released in October. “We need more resources, we need dedicated funding streams, and the entire region must step up our outreach and data gathering efforts to be even more effective at tackling what must be this region’s top priority,” he wrote in the tweet.

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San Diego’s Homeless Tied to Nearly 13% of All Fire Dispatch Calls

January 17, 2020 by Source

by Mary Plummer / inewsource / January 17, 2020

Fire incident calls tied to homelessness are on the rise in San Diego. Last year, they made up nearly 13% of all fire-related calls. “We’re addressing it as best we can,” said Assistant Fire Chief Chris Webber, who added that the growing homeless problem is “no secret.”

While the number of all fire calls has fluctuated over the past five years, fire calls that mentioned the homeless have steadily increased.

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Two Dozen OBceans Call for More Police at the Beach

January 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

More than two dozen OB residents held a protest rally at the foot of Newport Avenue on Sunday, Jan. 5, and hoped to send a message to city leaders. They want to see more police presence around the waterfront of the community.

About a dozen of them marched down Newport Avenue earlier before they gathered along the OB Wall.

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What’s New from District 2 Council Office – by Councilwoman Jen Campbell

October 25, 2019 by Source

By Dr. Jen Campbell

Hello neighbors!

Though it may feel like summer, fall is here. We’ve done a lot of great work for San Diego in my 10+ months on the job, but perhaps the most important issue facing San Diego was the focus of a City Council meeting a few weeks ago. That’s when we got our first look at the new strategic plan to address homelessness.

Fixing our unsheltered crisis has long been a top priority for my office. As a physician, I deeply understand the health risks of homelessness. From veterans living in their cars, young families sleeping on the street to more and more seniors ending up without a roof over their heads. The health ramifications for our unsheltered population are horrifying.

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Winter Is Coming and Vets for Peace Still Provide Sleeping Bags to People Who Are Homeless

October 14, 2019 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

When my husband Bob was alive, he was a member of the local Veterans for Peace Organization (as well as a docent for the Star of India). He has been gone a little over ten years and as a memorial to him I made a donation to the VFP to purchase sleeping bags for those that are less fortunate than I am in that I have a warm bed, heat, and three meals a day.

Whatever the reason may be that there are so many homeless in San Diego, the fact is that the numbers are mind-boggling.

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What You Can Do Besides Being an OB Vigilante

October 3, 2019 by Staff

By Brett Warnke

John Brady, a local advocate who has experienced homelessness in his own past, is the Director of Advocacy for the Voices of Our City Choir. He’s on the YIGBY task force focused on faith-based properties to build affordable and low-income housing for people in need.

He doesn’t take my own adversarial approach to local anti-homeless vigilante groups, but he says he supports people who want to keep their communities safe. He also doesn’t know much about the anti-homeless groups quoted in a recent mediocre, poorly written profile by Channel 8’s Abbie Alford.

However, Brady does see a need for informed interdictions regarding unsheltered people.

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Shame on you, Channel 8: An OB Media Criticism of Journalistic Mediocrity

October 3, 2019 by Staff

By Brett Warnke

In a sloppy, half-baked under-sourced brief, Channel 8’s Abbie Alford became San Diego’s publicist for the worst quarter of Ocean Beach, a vigilante group of homeless-haters.

Characterizing the group in her story as “fed up with troublemaking homeless,” Ms. Alford’s first paragraph claims the so-called “community group” puts “troublemakers on notice.” She includes a bland statement from Jen Campbell’s office and a series of tactics and quotes by the group as well as a smiling picture of them.

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Reader Rant: ‘The Good, Bad and Ugly of Ocean Beach’ – Here’s the ‘Ugly’

September 23, 2019 by Staff

By Brett Warnke

THE UGLY: As much as I adore Ocean Beach, I think the old bitch is finished. Maybe I’m a doom freak, a pessimist or just don’t know my neighborhood. But I think the divisions and contradictions are just too great.

In a way, it’s the same song as the rest of the country: People want cheap junk from Target but they want local business. They want a hip edge-y vibrant community with no drugs or transients. They want the golden shore without the glare.

Deep down, the local property owners want the place to be as placid as Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

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LA Times Opinion: ‘I’m 73 and live in a van. …already received a warning in Ocean Beach … It feels like there’s no place for me in California anymore’

September 11, 2019 by Source

Editordude: The following opinion piece was published in the LA Times two days ago and it’s already making the rounds on the net. It’s by LaVonne Ellis, a former correspondent for ABC Radio News Networks.

By LaVonne Ellis / Los Angeles Times / Sep. 9, 2019

I wake up early these days, when morning light outlines the blackout curtains and floods the skylight above my bed. After washing up with baby wipes and donning clean clothes, I slide open a curtain to reveal the front seats and windshield of the van that is my home, and check the back one last time to make sure everything is secure. Then I crawl into the driver’s seat and turn the key.

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Homeless Numbers Increase in Major California Counties – Except Somehow Not in San Diego

July 15, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

All across California, the numbers of people who are homeless are increasing dramatically – especially in the populated counties – except for San Diego, for some reason.

In the latest count of San Diego County homeless people, conducted on January 25, it was found the homeless population had actually dropped – from about 6 percent to 11 percent (depending on who’s counting) and totaled 8,102 humans.

In late April, the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless released their report, and found 3,626 were in shelters and 4,476 were living on the streets, vehicles, canyons or other open places.

Reportedly, a 5.5 percent drop from last year, the Point-In-Time Count survey states this year’s numbers are down from both last year’s observed total of 8,576 and the 2017 total of 9,116.

As usual, the City of San Diego had the largest number of homeless people in the county: 5,073 humans

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Will San Diego Keep Its Title of Area With 4th Largest Homeless Population?

May 10, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

It’s too soon to tell if San Diego will retain its title of being the area with the 4th largest homeless population. Even though the official homeless count numbers are in, HUD has not determined the order of cities currently with the most homeless.But San Diego is proud to have retained this position since 2015.

It’s done everything it can to increase the numbers – and so has California in general.So, while homeless advocates and government grant writers await the final results of the yearly national contest, we can still look at the numbers we have.

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Homeless in Vehicles Hold Ocean Beach Protest Against San Diego’s Proposed Ban on Vehicle Habitation

May 9, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

On Wednesday, May 8th at the foot of Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach, there was a protest of sorts by people who are forced to live in their vehicles and homeless advocates.

A couple dozen people gathered to listen to personal stories in what was billed as a Speak-Out and Singalong called “No Housing, No Choice!” They were protesting the city’s proposed Vehicle Habitation Ordinance.

The ordinance would make it illegal to live in a vehicle between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. and anywhere within 500 feet of a school or housing at any time. Cars would also not be allowed to have any evidence of cooking, bathing or sleeping materials.

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