Homelessness

Assailants of OB Man Still Not Caught After 10 Days

November 28, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

The small group of assailants of an OB man ten days ago all caught on surveillance video have still not been caught by police.

On Friday, Nov. 18, around 9:30 pm, Woody Boethel was jumped by about five people — all assumed to be houseless — out in front of Hodad’s. The assault was captured by a Hodads videocam and many viewers have since watched the brutal beating.

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‘No Humanity Whatsoever.’ Homeless Mothers and Children Forced to Sleep in Cold After SDPD Tows Vehicles

November 18, 2022 by Source

By Artie Ojeda / 7SanDiego News / November 15, 2022

Two homeless mothers say they were forced to sleep outside in cold, damp weather with their young children after San Diego police towed their vehicles, which they had been using as shelter.

“I explained to them, ‘Please don’t take my vehicle. This is our only shelter.’ And they just didn’t care,” said Lisa, 54, who says she’s been homeless since August. “I was so mad. I was so sad. I was heartbroken. I was frozen in fear,” said June, 41, who’s been homeless for the last year.

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93-Year Old Veteran for Peace Hands Out Group’s 5,000th Sleeping Bag to Homeless

November 7, 2022 by Source

By Diane Bell / San Diego Union-Tribune 

When Stan Levin encountered a homeless man in a wheelchair behind a Denny’s last month, he did what he always does. He started a conversation. As they chatted, he asked the fellow if he was sleeping on the ground and needed a sleeping bag. What he wanted at that moment, though, was a meal.

“Go in and tell the cashier what you want for breakfast and I’ll pick up the tab,” Levin replied. While the stranger was ordering, Levin walked to his car and came back with a sleeping bag to give to him.

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New 150-Bed Shelter Opens in the Midway District

September 14, 2022 by Source

The shelter will slowly admit people, 15 at a time

As Gary Warth at the U-T reported: “The beds are made, the showers and restrooms are in place, and mental health and addiction specialists are ready to work with clients at the new homeless shelter in San Diego’s Midway District.”

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The Deadly Logic of CARE Courts

August 23, 2022 by Source

By Mat Wahlstrom

We’ve been dealing with many attacks on our rights lately.

From above, the activist Supreme Court has gutted the right to privacy that underpinned the right to reproductive freedom as well as non-normative sexuality, allowed tax dollars to be transferred from secular public to private religious schools, and endorsed performative public prayer in the name of someone who specifically rejected making a show of praying in public (Matthew 6:5).

From Republicans, who almost universally support the January 6 insurrection, it’s the freedom to mass murder so long as it’s with bullets, and continued voter disenfranchisement.

But while these have been dominating headlines, we’ve lost sight of the single most dangerous one yet: the plan touted by state and local Democrats to create a separate legal system through what are perversely called “CARE Courts.”

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The System Is Broken

July 25, 2022 by Source

By Colleen Edwards /Dead Foot Collective

Go outside and sleep on the streets. Sleep on the side of a dumpster. Sleep, but only where nobody can see you. Sleep, but with a knife because someone will rob you. Sleep, but with your children tied around your waist because someone will try and take them. Sleep, but only after having not eaten all day—hunger pains will keep you awake.

Welcome to the houseless experience. I have been volunteering and working within the homeless system for the past six years. I’ve volunteered in shelters and on buses, I worked with homeless youth for a year and then switched to working directly with case managers, clients, and landlords.

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Midway Planners Upset Over Perceived Delay by City in Resolving Homeless Issues

June 22, 2022 by Staff

By Geoff Page

Homeless in the Midway

The main topic of discussion at the Midway-Pacific Highway Community Planning Group’s regular monthly meeting, June 15, was the homeless problem in the Midway area. The amount of frustration and barely repressed anger was palpable.

One speaker, a businessperson in the area, spoke up passionately and angrily about the mess on Hancock and Kurtz Streets from a homeless encampment along the Caltrans fence. It includes vehicle habitations and other things like tents.

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County Plans to Open Homeless Tent Shelter at Health Services Complex in the Midway – Report of Planning Board Meeting

May 26, 2022 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The regular monthly meeting of the Midway-Pacific Highway Community Planning Board, Wednesday May 18 contained two informative presentations, one by by County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and the other by District Attorney Summer Stephan. Both were about the homeless issue.

Homelessness in the Midway

Homelessness is a problem everywhere, but it is especially visible and acute in the Midway area.

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San Diego 2022 Homeless Count by 1,400 Volunteers Finds 10% Increase in 2 Years

May 20, 2022 by Source

From Regional Task Force on Homelessness

2022 Point in Time Count Data Released

Data shows progress and opportunities, provides insights into who is experiencing homelessness in San Diego County

The Regional Task Force on Homelessness (RTFH) on Thursday, May 19, released the topline results from the 2022 WeAllCount Point-in-Time Count, a one-day snapshot of the minimum number of San Diegans living in emergency shelters, transitional housing, safe havens and on our streets and along our riverbeds.

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‘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.

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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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