San Diego’s ‘Trailergate’ Gets Some Attention

March 20, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Somebody was listening.

Late last week, we reported that the city was close to utilizing 12 or 13 of the trailers it had stored for 3 years, given to the city by the state for unhoused needy families. On Wednesday, March 15, the San Diego City Council‘s Rules Committee had voted unanimously to move forward a plan to open a safe parking lot in the Clairemont – Rose Canyon neighborhood for people who sleep overnight in campers or other vehicles.

We’ve been covering the “lost trailers” for the homeless for weeks in the hopes there would be some public and or media traction that would pressure the Gloria administration to get on the ball and put the trailers to the use that was intended.

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If All California’s Homeless Lived in One Place, They’d Make Up the 32nd Largest City in the State

March 17, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

California is now home to more than 171,000 homeless individuals, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a 6.2% increase since 2020.

Roughly 67%, or more than 115,000 are unsheltered meaning that they’re living outside.

If all the state’s homeless individuals lived in one locale, they’d make up the 32nd largest city in California. This may not seem so much. But consider this.

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After 3 Years in Storage, San Diego Finally Readies Trailers for the Homeless

March 16, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

After storing for 3 years more than a dozen empty trailers meant to be used by homeless people,  San Diego appears ready – finally – to utilize them for a safe parking lot in the Clairemont neighborhood near Rose Canyon.

The 20 trailers were given to the city by the state for the unhoused during the height of the pandemic. But for some reason, the city just stored 13 of them near the city’s Rose Canyon Operations Yard on Morena Boulevard — north of Costco. (It’s unclear where the other 7 are.) So, San Diego’s Trailergate — a minor scandal that no one really cares much about — may soon be over.

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Removing Tents and Criminalizing the Houseless Are Not Solutions; Housing Is

February 24, 2023 by Source

A tent is a tent, but for many it’s the safest, most private space someone may have while experiencing homelessness.

By Amy Denhart / SD Union-Tribune Op-Ed / Feb. 21, 2023

Imagine having everything you own taken from you at a moment’s notice and being forced to scramble to find a place to sleep night after night, week after week.

More and more of our unsheltered neighbors are subjected to this life as homelessness increases and housing costs skyrocket across San Diego. Our officials respond by ordering homeless residents to take down tents during daylight hours, a misguided policy intended to prevent encampments from forming.

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San Diego’s Trailers for the Homeless Are Still Empty and Still Stored

February 22, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

The 20-or-so trailers that the City of San Diego received from the State of California 3 years ago for unhoused people and families are still empty and still stored on city property.

The OB Rag located 13 of the unused trailers adjacent to the City’s Rose Canyon Operation Yard at 3775 Morena Boulevard. Nice and brand new, the trailers are generally 8 feet wide by 25 or 30 feet long and are standard recreational vehicles that are towed behind cars and trucks. They have “pop-out” spare rooms and appear ready to receive needy people experiencing homelessness.

San Diego received the trailers 3 years ago under the Mayor Faulconer administration. Faulconer, obviously, did nothing with them. Then came Todd Gloria, who likewise has not done anything with them.

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‘Trailers? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Trailers!’ — San Diego’s Own Trailergate

February 6, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Apparently, for several years, the City of San Diego didn’t need no stinkin’ trailers. The City sat on 20 trailers provided by the State for short- and medium-term housing for people experiencing homelessness. For three years – and is just now readying 13 for a Rose Canyon site along Morena Boulevard that will serve households sometime later this year.

Some background: during the height of the pandemic, the California Department of Social Services created a critical program, Project Roomkey,that sought to provide housing to unhoused people outside the network of group shelters where infections were rampant. Project Roomkey allowed state officials to offer cities and counties more than 1,500 trailers that could serve as short- and medium-term housing for people

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San Diego Plans More Compassionate Vehicle Towing Policies

January 25, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Because a recent audit showed the top two reasons a vehicle in San Diego gets towed typically affect low-income people, San Diego officials are proposing changes to the city’s vehicle towing policies. If adopted, the new policies will be more compassionate than current ones.

The city is exploring:

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Democratic City Councilmembers Sounding More Like Republicans – Now Want to Charge Homeless for Use of Public Restrooms

January 23, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

What’s the big deal with having a totally-Democratic City Council if they all start sounding like Republicans? That’s what’s happening in San Diego. The City Council now wants to start charging homeless people — and others — for using public restrooms.

City elected leaders say they could solve the shortage of downtown restrooms by charging users “a nominal fee,” as much as, say, a quarter or 50 cents. Plus, they claim unhoused people would be actually better off because they would have access to more and clean public restrooms. That’s more of a Republican view, isn’t it? Let folks pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and plug in a quarter or two to go to the bathroom.

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Is a Temporary ‘Ranch’ on Empty Land at Miramar Air Base San Diego’s Solution for the Unhoused?

January 18, 2023 by Staff

Let’s have this discussion. San Diego needs to have it.

Bill Walton — probably San Diego’s most famous personage — and George Mullen, the CEO of Sunrise Ranch, have just penned an opinion showcasing their vision of a solution to San Diego’s unhoused.

They offer up something called Sunrise Ranch to be built as a camp for unhoused people on 2,000 acres of empty land at the Miramar Marine Corps Station, the former Camp Elliot weapons range.

They write:

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Volunteers Needed for January 26 Count of San Diego Homelessness

January 9, 2023 by Source

The Regional Task Force on Homelessness has put out a call for more volunteers to participate in the upcoming 2023 Point in Time Count later this month.

The count — scheduled for Jan. 26 — is a federally required activity and a “crucial source of information and funding for homelessness across the county,” the task force said.

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400 Unhoused People From Ocean Beach to Lakeside Driven From San Diego Riverbed by Flooding and Rain — GoFundMe Page Set Up

January 4, 2023 by Staff

Michael McConnell, who has helped and advocated for the homeless for more than a decade, has set up a GoFundMe page in order to help unhoused individuals that lost their belongings from the rising levels of the San Diego River and the recent rain.

The continuous rain has flooded several areas in the San Diego Riverbed, which has impacted an estimated 400 people who call the San Diego Riverbed their home.

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‘Housing, Not Hand-Cuffs’ – What San Diego Leaders Can Do to Reduce Homelessness and Save Lives in 2023

December 30, 2022 by Source

By Ann Menasche, Coleen Cusack, and Matha Sullivan / OpEd San Diego Union-Tribune / Dec. 29, 2022

The human-made catastrophe of mass homelessness can be deadly. There have been at least 1,425 preventable deaths in San Diego County since 2020. Elected officials and their appointees in San Diego County have failed homeless people since at least 1996, when the city of San Diego reported to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that “inability to pay high rents” was among the most common reasons for homelessness.

This is a policy failure of epic proportions —

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Christmas: The Gift of Compassion – A View From 2012

December 20, 2022 by Source

By Jack Hamlin / December 25, 2012

It is Christmas, 2012, and I sit in the sunlight of the early morning and welcome the day. For many years I have been alone on Christmas morning; my children, parents, sister and I celebrate Christmas on its eve. My children spend the day with her mother and later in the day, my parents, sister and I have dinner at my cousin’s home. As a result, the gift I receive Christmas morning is time. Time to sit and reflect, time to meditate, time to just be.

As a Catholic Christian of the Franciscan brand, and a student of Buddhism and the Tao, I spend much of my time thinking about the concept of compassion;

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‘We Need the Poor at Christmas’

December 19, 2022 by Source

Let’s Hear It for the Team

By Joni Halpern

There is a little team of five of us — two in San Diego, one in Palm Springs, and two in Washington State – who work hard all year long to keep a roof over the heads of one small local family headed by a single, disabled parent.  It’s a struggle, but our team has triumphed over homelessness that has threatened this low-income family for many years.

Occasionally over the years, our efforts have faltered, as in this year when rents have climbed so high, and everyone’s costs have  increased so much that our treasury for assistance has been rendered insufficient — temporarily at least.

With our friend now residing for a short time with relatives while she tries to find another place,

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Record High Number of Houseless People in Downtown San Diego

December 12, 2022 by Source

The number of houseless people in downtown San Diego reached a record high for the fourth straight month in November, according to a count conducted by the Downtown San Diego Partnership.

November’s count found 1,706 people sleeping on sidewalks and in cars along downtown streets, up from 1,660 from October and increasing the monthly average for the year to 1,485.

The numbers increased by more than 50% from the same time last year, when the count was at 1,124.

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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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