Homelessness

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.

Read the full article → 0 comments

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.

Read the full article → 1 comment

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.

Read the full article → 0 comments

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.

Read the full article → 1 comment

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.

Read the full article → 12 comments

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.

Read the full article → 1 comment

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.

Read the full article → 0 comments

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.

Read the full article → 31 comments

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.

Read the full article → 32 comments

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.

Read the full article → 61 comments

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.

Read the full article → 11 comments

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

Read the full article → 3 comments

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.

Read the full article → 9 comments

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.

Read the full article → 1 comment

‘No Housing, No Choice!’ Speak-Out, Singalong at Newport Ave. & Abbott St. Wed., May 8

May 8, 2019 by Source

Today – Wednesday. May 8th there’s a Speak-Out and Singalong called “No Housing, No Choice!” Newport Ave. & Abbott St. in Ocean Beach. There will be participation by the Light Brigade and Drum Circle.

Hosted by the San Diego Housing Emergency Alliance, the event begins at 5pm and runs to 8pm. It’s all about the true stories of people forced to use their vehicles for shelter.

Organizers are asking folks to join the event. They say PARKING IS TIGHT, so they’re asking people to meet at Robb Field, 2525 Bacon Street, between 3-4:30 pm to shuttle to the event. The return shuttle goes from 6:30-8:15 pm More info:

Read the full article → 3 comments

The Numbers Who Used Homeless Services Is 3 Times the Number of Homeless Counted in San Diego County

May 6, 2019 by Source

Officials say this year’s point-in-time count numbers reflect changes to the process made at the direction of federal officials. Meanwhile, a separate stat sws homelessness could be more than triple the number found in the count.

By Lisa Halverstadt /Voice of San Diego / April 29, 2019

At first glance, San Diego’s latest annual point-in-time count appears to show a modest drop in homelessness. This year, the group counted 8,102 homeless San Diegans countywide compared with last year’s 8,576 estimate.

But officials caution the data isn’t comparable because of changes to the way the count is carried out and to the methodology the group uses to arrive at a final tally.

The Regional Task Force on the Homeless, which coordinates the homeless census, changed its strategy this year at the urging of federal officials

Read the full article → 3 comments

Austin Company Prints 3D-House on Site as Model for Homeless

April 12, 2019 by Source

By Drew Zeiba / Architects Newspaper

“What if you could download and print a house for half the cost?” reads the lede for the Vulcan II, a 3D printer with a name suited for sci-fi space exploration, on the website of Austin-based company ICON. Now the company has put this claim to the test, building what it says is the first permitted 3D-printed home in the United States, unveiled during SXSW.

Using its original Vulcan gantry-style 3D printer, the firm collaborated with global housing nonprofit New Story to build a 650-square-foot home, which features separate bedroom, living, bathroom, and kitchen areas.

Read the full article → 13 comments

Reader Rant: ‘We Must Do More for the Women and Children Living on Our Streets’

April 3, 2019 by Source

Are we helping those most in need?

By David Patterson

Kudos to the Alpha Project and Chelsea Investments for their success getting homeless Veterans into apartments as outlined by Gary Warth, UT San Diego, March 31 2019, “Homeless Vets have New home”.

Great work done by all, but now it’s time to prioritize to get an even more vulnerable population off the streets, women and children.

It may sound unbelievable that we have women and children on the streets but it’s true and frequently we at Veterans For Peace encounter these people while handing out sleeping bags.

Over a month’s time I have encountered dozens of unaccompanied women, 2 different women each with 4 young children including toddlers and a young teen aged couple, cold filthy and according to the female, pregnant. This goes on week after week, month after month with little change in my view. It’s time that we changed our priorities.

Read the full article → 3 comments

San Diego Police Swept Through Homeless Areas Just Before Annual Homeless Count – May Have Had Negative Impact on Results

January 30, 2019 by Source

It appears that San Diego police swept through some homeless areas just before the annual homeless count last week, and now homeless advocates say the police efforts may have skewed the results of the count. Voice of San Diego reports:

Police enforcement spiked in the downtown area most densely populated with homeless San Diegans in the days before the annual homeless census last Friday, spurring questions from advocates and even the group that oversees the count about how the increased enforcement may have affected the effort.

Read the full article → 1 comment

It’s Raining and Cold. The Homeless Are Still Outside.

January 16, 2019 by John Lawrence

by John Lawrence / January 16, 2019

I take a shortcut every day through Walter Way in my home town of El Cajon. It saves me from going through one stop light at 2nd and Madison. Walter Way is little more than a glorified alley paralleling 2nd Street.

In between there’s a McDonald’s, a Walgreen’s a Subway and a few other fast food places. Walter Way has been home to quite a large homeless settlement for some time. The other day there were 3 dump trucks and 3 El Cajon police cars clearing out the homeless and all their possessions from Walter Way.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Homelessness Can’t Be Solved with Fines and Arrests

October 19, 2018 by Source

By John Tharp & Maria Foscarinis / OtherWords

When San Diego resident Gerald Stark’s rent increased and he couldn’t afford another apartment, the retired union pipefitter moved into his RV.

But because he lacked an address, San Diego law made it almost impossible for him to park his RV legally. Soon the city confiscated it, leaving him out on the streets. There, he was ticketed for violating another law prohibiting sleeping in public.

Read the full article → 2 comments

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

Read the full article → 3 comments

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.

Read the full article → 0 comments

‘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.

Read the full article → 0 comments

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;

Read the full article → 6 comments

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.

Read the full article → 0 comments

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.

Read the full article → 1 comment

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.

Read the full article → 0 comments

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.

Read the full article → 1 comment

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.

Read the full article → 0 comments