Homelessness

Federal Judge Puts a Temporary Hold on San Diego Police Ticketing Homeless People Living in Their Vehicles

August 27, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

A federal judge last week ordered San Diego police to temporarily stop ticketing homeless people living in their vehicles. Sitting in San Diego, U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia issued the injunction until he makes a final ruling in a case brought to court by a class-action suit by a group of disabled homeless people living in recreational vehicles.

They filed the suit last year against the law, which they claim is discriminatory, with the help of the Disability Rights California and The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. In his order issued August 21, Battaglia called the city ordinance that prohibits people for living inside vehicles too vague

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Funky Homeless Count in San Diego

June 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Every year in San Diego, the numbers of homeless people are accessed in the annual point-in-time count. Those numbers – collected by volunteers working for the Regional Task Force on the Homeless – are then used as a measure for the area’s progress in ending homelessness and – importantly – the funds and other resources required and received from the State and Feds.

So, this year the count was on January 26 – and volunteers spread out all over the region with their census sheets. And as it turned out, fortunately for them, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, County Supervisor Ron Roberts and City Councilman Chris Ward all held their pressers and got to announce a 6% drop in homelessness, compared to last year. There was just one problem. The numbers were wrong.

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‘America’s Finest City’ Is Worst in Nation in Housing the Homeless

June 1, 2018 by Source

By Murtaza Baxamusa / SanDiegoUrbDeZine

San Diego does not have a homeless problem, it has a housing bed inventory problem in comparison to other large cities. The region’s homeless as a percentage of the total population is 12th in the nation, and the five-year trend is relatively flat when including both sheltered and unsheltered homeless. Yet, despite the public outcry, there are still about five thousand unsheltered homeless sleeping on our streets, sidewalks, canyons, riverbeds, parks and open spaces.

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Homelessness and Capitalism: Some Untold Truths

May 31, 2018 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo

According to the survey in the 2018 Point-in-Time Count (PITC) of homeless people in San Diego County, the four main reasons for becoming homeless are: Loss of Job; Money Issues; Cost of Housing, and Other. Abuse/Violence ranks lowest.

But this survey is missing input from thousands of families, as I explained in my prior column, so in reality, fleeing from domestic violence could be a major cause of homelessness. So too could deportation of the primary breadwinner be a factor, which is not even listed as an option, but is a contributing factor for some homeless families.

Underlying those four highest causes are specific failings in our current economic system, such as: jobs that don’t pay enough to cover the basics;

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Under International Spotlight, El Cajon Ends Its Ban on Feeding Homeless in Parks

January 29, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Being portrayed negatively in the international spotlight is never good, as the city of El Cajon recently found out. The east county city found international attention after it banned feeding the homeless in parks, and after about a dozen homeless advocates were arrested, cited and released for trying to feed homeless people in a local El Cajon park.

The city lifted the temporary order on Tuesday, January 23rd. They had enacted the ban – they claimed – as a safety measure after the San Diego County Board of Supervisors declared the region’s growing hepatitis A outbreak a public health emergency. The same day, last Tuesday, the County ended the health emergency over Hep A.

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Petition: Investigate Mayor Faulconer for Criminal Negligence in Hepatitis A Outbreak

September 20, 2017 by Source

Faulconer Has Ignored Calls for More Public Restrooms Downtown Since 2014

By Martha Sullivan / Change.org

The San Diego City government, led by Mayor Faulconer, has been told for three years that more public restrooms are needed downtown.

But the Mayor has consistently cried poor mouth — despite spending $2.1 million on an unplanned EIR for an upgraded Qualcomm Football Stadium during this time.

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Vapor Beds and Other Non-Facts

August 3, 2017 by Source

Rows of institutional style beds with superimposed text: Vapor Beds

By Jeeni Criscenzo /San Diego Free Press

Let me start with an apology. At the San Diego Select Committee for Homelessness meeting on Monday, July 24, I made some comments in response to a report by the new CEO of the Regional Taskforce on the Homeless, Gordon Walker, which came out sounding critical and petty.

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San Diego Has $80 Million Worth of Promises for the Homeless

July 11, 2017 by Doug Porter

America’s Finest City isn’t really all that fine, sometimes. Especially if you happen to be a homeless human. Or a whistleblower. Or a woman. Or a protester. The same old, same old, keeps on happening, and like cartoon character Charlie Brown going after that football Lucy’s holding for him, we keep falling for it.

An $80 million commitment in funding for homeless services announced last week is just the latest in a series of moves designed to make people think something is being done by local officials.

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Solving Homelessness Can’t Wait Another Year

June 22, 2017 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

Is the Regional Task Force on Homelessness (RTFH) really expecting people in desperate situations to patiently wait another year while we work on yet another plan?

Do we have so little confidence in our own ability to assess a situation that we need to bring in an expert from Sacramento to tell us what to do? Or are we so hamstrung by the same old vested interests that we can’t accommodate new ideas unless they come from outside and we pay lots of money for them?

I really want to believe that we are getting closer to a coordinated plan for housing people who’re experiencing homelessness. But I’ve sat through enough of these meetings over the last decade to justify my skepticism.

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Bearing Witness to Homelessness in San Diego

May 12, 2017 by Source

Homelessness San Diego; Photo credit Michael McConnell

By Stan Levin / San Diego Veterans for Peace

They are here, by the hundreds, by the thousands, the dispossessed among us.
People having little in the way of the niceties of a comfortable existence
That equates with the concept of “Home”.
Many wear all the clothing they own, on their backs, day and night.
Some push their collection of meager possessions around in a shopping cart they have found
Or stolen, ahead of them in their endless wanderings
To nowhere in particular.

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The Guardian of Third Avenue

May 5, 2017 by Source

By sloan ranger

Sometimes I don’t see him for weeks and I wonder where he is.

He must cover several miles daily, walking silently up and down Third Avenue, wearing his heavy black peacoat with a hood.

I don’t worry about him in the cold so much, it’s the blistering hot days I think of him most because he has the heavy coat on then, too.

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There’s No Hiding It. There’s No Place for Homeless San Diegans to Go

May 4, 2017 by Source

Press conference atop the MTS parking garage at the 12th and Imperial Transit Station

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

The numbers of homeless person in our region counted during the annual Point in Time Count (PITC) conducted January 29, 2017 were recently released.

This is the data that will be sent to HUD to determine how much funding will be provided to the County of San Diego for homeless issues, including emergency shelter and efforts to get people into permanent housing. Last year that amounted to $18 million but under the Trump administration those funds could be significantly reduced.

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Downtown San Diego Sweeps Against Homeless People Are Cruel and Have Got to Stop – Now!

April 7, 2017 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo /San Diego Free Press

On April 5th, while I was in City Hall with other advocates for homeless people voicing our objections to the Mayor’s proposed ballot measure to increase the Transit Occupancy Tax to pay for an expansion of the convention center, with a few crumbs tossed in for “Reducing Homelessness”, only a few blocks away, some of our City’s most destitute citizens were being cruelly victimized.

Their tormentors not only took away everything they had left in the world, including what little makeshift shelter they had, but in one case documented in photos and a video by Michael McConnell, they even took a man’s pet dog!

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Midway Planning Group Hosting Beach Community Planners Discussion About Homelessness in April

March 21, 2017 by Source

By Geoff Page

The Midway/Pacific Highway Community Planning Group regular Wednesday monthly meeting, held at the San Diego City College – West City Campus on Fordham Street on March 15th, was abbreviated because of a lack of action items and a number of government report no shows.

The only action item was a partial decision of the Midway community plan, a draft of which was coming out in March according to Vicki White from the Planning Department.

Small Parks Included in New Community Plan

White introduced a document that depicted areas of the Midway district that will be set aside as park land. Two small areas on the bike path along the river were the subject of the action vote. One area was designated “San Diego River Park Pathway” and the other was “San Diego Mini Park.”

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San Diego’s Homelessness Calamity: You Have Just Entered the Twilight Zone

March 21, 2017 by Source

Homelessness
By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

Say what you want about the faraway White House. But watch what you say about City Hall and the people we elect to local government – they’re practically family.

They live in our neighborhoods. We have coffee with them when they’re running for office. We bump into them at the movies or supermarket. We could hop a trolley downtown and collar them at work. We elect them to work for us.

Their job is to pave the streets, limit what gets built on that empty lot around the corner, keep an eye on the police department, get the trash picked up, and make sure there are enough fire stations to keep us safe and good air-quality levels to keep us healthy and enough libraries and parks to help make us happy.

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March for Safe Living Spaces Mar. 18, Attend San Diego City Council Hearing on Homelessness Mar. 20

March 17, 2017 by Source

March (and sing!) for homeless San Diegans on March 18, be an advocate for compassion and solutions on March 20

By Women Occupy San Diego

On Saturday, March 18, join the “March of Voices” for a Safe Living Space for Every San Diegan. People will begin gathering at 10 a.m. at the San Diego Civic Concourse/City Hall (3rd Avenue & B Street).

The march begins at 10:30 a.m., and will be led by the San Diego Women’s Drum Circle.

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San Diego Volunteers Raise Roof Beams for Emergency, Very Affordable Housing

March 17, 2017 by Anna Daniels

Amikas Emergency Housing Expo March 15 – 26

By Anna Daniels /San Diego Free Press

The super bloom of wild flowers in the most inhospitable of places–the Anza Borrego desert– has captured the attention of San Diegans, who are flocking to get a glimpse of this short lived phenomenon.

Closer to home, an equally remarkable blossoming takes the form of the cluster of cabins that has sprung up like wild flowers at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in North Park. San Diego has been the most inhospitable of places for enacting solutions to our growing humanitarian crisis of homelessness. Volunteer activists from Amikas have stepped into the leadership vacuum, displaying what can be done to address the immediate housing needs of the most vulnerable among us.

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The San Jose Solution for Emergency Shelter

February 10, 2017 by Source

A way to change this:

to this:

San Diego County / City of San Diego are in the middle of a serious emergency shelter crisis. The Point in Time Count numbers for 2016 for the county counted 8,692 homeless persons, with an 18.9% increase in the number of unsheltered individuals.

Numbers from the recent count will not be available until April, but are expected to be worse. San Diego has the unenviable distinction of having the 4th highest number of homeless people in the nation – more than Las Vegas, Washington DC, Chicago and San Francisco. By comparison, Santa Clara County / San Jose reported 6,556 homeless persons in 2015, and came in 9th for number of homeless people.

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Compassion as a Radical Act

January 25, 2017 by Source

compassionBy Dave Patterson / Vets for Peace

On a cold night in January I joined Stan Levin and Gil Field delivering sleeping bags to the San Diego homeless, what we call the compassion campaign. Dealing directly with the homeless is painful because there they are in our faces with their cold, hunger and suffering laid bare.

What’s surprising is the number of people with just a thin blanket that will decline a sleeping bag because others nearby need it more. How ironic that people with nothing can have more compassion than those of us with plenty.

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PETITION: Use Qualcomm Stadium Parking Lot as a SafePark-Camp for the Homeless

January 24, 2017 by Source

Sign the Petition
By Women Occupy San Diego

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer touts the 640 of 3000 miles of City street repaired during his 32 months in office. Good for you, Mr. Mayor, this shows you can accomplish something when you set your mind to it.

NEXT UP: Get people made homeless by the past 6 years’ replacement of 10,000 units of affordable housing by market-rate housing, vacation rentals, hotels, offices and retail OFF THESE STREETS.

Now that the Chargers have announced they are moving to L.A. — YOU can make that GARGANTUAN parking lot at City-owned Qualcomm Stadium into a network of SafePark (people sleeping in their vehicles),

COME INSIDE FOR THE PETITION

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Mayor’s Office Put on the Hot-Seat at Midway Planners’ Meeting

January 24, 2017 by Source
Thumbnail image for Mayor’s Office Put on the Hot-Seat at Midway Planners’ Meeting

Issue of Homelessness in Midway Area Dominates Monthly Meeting

By Geoff Page

The Mayor’s Office was put on the proverbial hot-seat during the recent Midway/Pacific Highway Community Planning Group (Midway) monthly meeting – held on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at the San Diego City College – West City Campus on Fordham Street Room 208. (The meeting is ordinarily held the third Wednesday of the month, the Thursday meeting was a one time occurrence.)

The meeting started at 3:00 in the afternoon and continued until 5:00. There were not enough board members present to constitute a quorum but this was not a serious problem because no action items, requiring a board vote, were on the agenda.

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Yoga Festival Coming to Ocean Beach at End of January

January 19, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Yoga Festival Coming to Ocean Beach at End of January

At the end of January, members of the OB community are hosting the San Diego Yoga Festival, an event that has been in the planning since last summer.

The idea supposedly was initiated by a San Diego Police supervisor, Sgt. Yu, who patrols OB, as a method to clear OB’s parks and waterfront out. He told the San Diego Reader that:

“… I love seeing those people doing their workouts; the more they show up, the more we fill these public spaces with this type of positive energy, the more quickly transient gangs will move on…and I call them transient gangs because they gravitate and congregate in groups of 5, 10, 15 and intimidate people; they are no different than a gang.”

The mission behind the yoga festival has deepened since then, and as Katrina Thomas wrote in the San Diego Entertainer Magazine, the festival organizers are “, inviting teachers and participants from around the country,” and aim to place San Diego on the map in the yoga world.

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Homeless Advocates Plan Response Tonight To Mayor Faulconer’s 2017 State Of The City Address

January 12, 2017 by Source

By Women Occupy San Diego

Press Conference & Performance by the Voices of Our City Choir
THURSDAY, January 12, 2017, about 7:30-8:30pm (following Mayor’s State of the City)
Horton Plaza Park (Near 4th & E/across from the Balboa Theater)

After attending the Mayor’s 2017 State of the City address at the Balboa Theater, Women Occupy San Diego, Voices of Our City Choir and other concerned San Diegans will gather nearby to share reactions to what he proposes as solutions to homelessness.

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Opinion: Five Reasons Why We Must Build a New Chargers’ Stadium

January 11, 2017 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego

Let’s cut to the chase. San Diego must have a new football stadium for five good reasons.

1. We have already solved the problem of homelessness.

The mayor has made it his priority this year; so that is fixed. Forget that the official count of those on the streets is now 8,700 — an increase of almost 3 percent from last year.

The city can and does just move them out of sight (so if you can’t see them, they don’t exist). Move them from downtown to Hillcrest. From Mission Hills canyons to the bridges and overhangs near Fuller Liquor and along the San Diego River. Ocean Beach doesn’t count because everyone there looks almost homeless.

No need to waste precious money on the homeless. Build a stadium. Let the homeless sleep in the old one.

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News From Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early January 2017

January 5, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Progress at Apple Tree Market on Newport

Community Beach Cleanup – Jan. 7th

Larry Himmell Remembered in OB Son’s Foundation

Local Muralist Puts Brush to Wall – Paints Storefront

Silver Gate Students Get New Crosswalk

OB’s Serial Sharpie Tagger – “Mama Bear” – Gets Some Press

Suspect Jumped into San Diego River in Midway Area – Refused to Leave Sandbar

Sensory Deprivation in OB?

Now that La Jollans Are Upset with Planned Flight Route Changes – Something Might Happen

Worries About the Eucalyptus in Loma Portal

Sleeping Toddler in Jeep Stolen in Point Loma Heights Found After Thief Calls Cops

COME INSIDE FOR THE STORIES

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The Top 15 Stories from Ocean Beach and Point Loma for 2016

December 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

It’s that time of the year when media and press outfits turn reflective and ponder the “best” or “most important” stories they’ve published over the last 12 months. We’ve done something similar here after reviewing our archives from 2016, and have come up what we think are the “top stories” from OB and Point Loma for the year.

The “stories” are really news, photos, analysis and opinions about real issues within the communities of the Peninsula, a number of which have continued from last year. So, here they are, the top 15 stories – not in any precise order, but in some kind of semblance of importance, with the mostest at the beginning

1. Short Term Vacation Rentals

Definitely a hold-over issue from 2015, short term vacation rentals continue to spark an invigorated opposition from coastal communities – including OB. The loss of community that vacation rentals pose for Ocean Beach and other beach communities was explored here in The Loss of Community .

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A Call for Mayor Faulconer to Halt San Diego’s Confiscation of Blankets and Tents of the Homeless

December 23, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Editor:We received a report of police confiscating the blankets of OB homeless at the beach, we commented recently about Park and Rec crews removing homeless sleeping material from a tree in Robb Field, and below is a post by Anna Daniels who lives in City Heights with an accompanying video of trash workers removing tents and belongings of homeless. (If you cannot view the video, go to the original store at San Diego Free Press.)

Finally, at the end of the article is a petition being circulated calling upon Mayor Faulconer to confront the nightmare of homelessness. They are demanding Emergency Humanitarian Action to stop criminalizing homeless people in San Diego. It would be very Christian of him.

Did You Wake Up this AM in a Warm Home? Thousands of San Diegans Didn’t

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

The first of two storms expected to move through the San Diego region this week arrived last night with steady moderate rainfall here in City Heights. It was sixty degrees on the porch at 6:00 am this morning. The cats had taken shelter there and were curled up in loosely strewn bedding. I was still bed warm and savoring the first cup of coffee. Then I remembered this:

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-December 2016

December 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Boy Uses Savings from Lemonade Stand to Buy Backpacks for Homeless

A community has rallied around one little boy’s “Pay it Forward” project to create backpacks to distribute to the homeless of San Diego. 7-year-old Dylan Rodrigues of OB saved $120 he earned from putting up a lemonade stand to buy backpacks … .

Elizabeth Sullivan’s Death Called Homicide

Elizabeth Sullivan, the young Navy wife and mother of two who went missing 2 years ago, and whose body was found in early October off Liberty Station, was the victim of a homicide, police say.

Developments in Yoga Guru Death – Autopsy Results Weeks Off – No Suspects

The autopsy of CorePower Yoga founder Trevor Tice has been completed, but the results won’t be released for weeks, …

MORE NEWS INSIDE ………………>>>>>>>>>>

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Developer – Insider Benefits from Affordable Housing Program By Building Coastal McMansions

December 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Developer – Insider Benefits from Affordable Housing Program By Building Coastal McMansions

A developer and political insider – a former chairman of the San Diego Planning Commission – appears to have benefited big-time from a City of San Diego affordable and sustainability housing program – that he was ineligible for – by being allowed to construct single-family McMansions at the coast.

Tim Golba of Golba Architecture was given the green light by the City’s Development Services Department to obtain the permits for his single family home projects through the city’s “Affordable/In-Fill Housing and Sustainable Buildings Expedite Program.” We know this, thanks to the diligence of the Voice of San Diego.

The program is supposed to allow for building permits to be processed in half of the normal time, for a $500 fee, …

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San Diego City Council, Day One: New Faces, Old Politics

December 14, 2016 by Doug Porter

san-diego-city-council-chambersBy Doug Porter

Love rescue me, come forth and speak to me,” lyrics from a Bob Dylan/U2 song, echoed across Horton Plaza as current and newly-elected city officials, including the mayor, city council and city attorney, streamed into the Balboa Theater on Monday, Dec. 12th.

The Voices of Our City Choir, most of whom are homeless, were there serving as a reminder of the inhumane practices that are the end result of years of neglect, greed, and incompetence in local government.

Speakers at the People’s Inaugural, representing the voices of the dispossessed and downtrodden, called out for Emergency Humanitarian Action, urging the Mayor to suspend the ticketing, arrest of, and stay away orders for unsheltered homeless San Diegans.

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