Homelessness

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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‘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:

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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