Homelessness

We Need to Be Aware That the Homeless Are Human Beings

August 17, 2016 by Ernie McCray

ernie-mccray-at-blackBy Ernie McCray

When I heard that there would be a “San Diego Homeless Awareness Day” my first thought was “Hooray” and then I thought about how “awareness” isn’t the problem.

I mean we know that there are folks who have no home, no place to stay, penniless, practically completely down and out.

We’ve heard over and over on the news about “rock gardens” being constructed on some streets where the homeless like to sleep; about the police destroying their encampments, places where they feel relatively safe trying to get a good night’s sleep.

We see them as we walk downtown, trying to act as though they’re not there, every now and then giving them a buck or two or buying them a whopper.

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We Can Do It Now! Tiny Home Demonstration part of San Diego Homeless Awareness Activities

August 17, 2016 by Source

Group of volunteers assembling a demonstration "tiny house"

Model Tiny Home Assembly and Viewing
Wednesday August 17, 2016 at 12:30 PM
North Park Community Park, on Oregon St. between Polk Ave and Howard Ave.

By Amikas

On August 17, in coordination with San Diego Homeless Awareness Day, a model “Tiny Home” will be assembled on site at the North Park Community Park, on Oregon St. between Polk Ave and Howard Ave. and will be available for photographs and viewing throughout the afternoon.

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August 17, 2016: San Diego Homeless Awareness Day

August 17, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for August 17, 2016: San Diego Homeless Awareness Day

Today, August 17th, is San Diego Homeless Awareness Day. And many of San Diego’s media sources – about 20 – have pledged to carry, run, print, publish articles and posts about the homeless and homelessness today.

The OB Rag – along with our sister publication, the San Diego Free Press – has joined this effort to highlight the plight of our area’s citizens who have no home, other than the streets.

To this end, we are posting a series of articles from the writers of the SDFP and OB Rag.

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Joint Southern Western Region City-County Low-No Income Housing Relief Task Force Unveils Pilot Program

August 15, 2016 by Source

Mike Williams graphic

By Bell Donic, Staff Writer

South Western Region: The Joint South Western Region City-County Low-No income Housing
Relief Task Force (JSWRCCLNIHRTF) offered guided tours of a pilot program at a location on the west side during their gala event announcing the installations near the green and picturesque foot of Washington Street.

Advocates stressed the ease of installation, and the ease of creating very small group areas, the durability of the units, low cost to the taxpayers, the residents’ improved self-image attained as a result of not sleeping in the bushes somewhere, but, instead, in a sturdy, solid, free space.

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Cody Miller Wins Bronze in 100-Meter Breaststroke

August 8, 2016 by Source

Cody Miller w bronze

RIO DE JANEIRO — American Cody Miller won bronze in the 100-meter breaststroke, finishing behind Britain’s Adam Peaty, who set a world record in 57.13 seconds.

Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa took silver in 58.69, .18 seconds ahead of Miller.

Cody Miller is a local OB celebrity – in a real sense – as he is the son of an Ocean Beach homeless man, Craig Miller, who died last year on Christmas Day.

Writers Vera Sanchez and Sunny Rey wrote about it for the OB Rag a couple of weeks ago. They described it then:

The road for Cody did not come easy.

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Stacking the Deck: San Diego Homeless Sweeps, Charter School Cheats, and the Modern Jim Crow

August 3, 2016 by Doug Porter

News roundup logoBy Doug Porter

Comic Con and the All-Star Game have come and gone, but San Diego’s homeless remain, criminalized and demonized.

A report from the ACLU calls out blatant discrimination in charter schools throughout California.

And rightwing-inspired laws restricting voting in states around the country are proving to be nothing more than a shield for racism.

Today we look at some of the downsides of life in the USA these days. The deification of the market economy and the quest to drown government in a bathtub are at the root of all these stories, something the Make American Great Again crowd seems unable to grasp.

Homeless and Helpless

A perfectly reasonable story in Tueday’s Union-Tribune, focuses on the now-weekly displacement of homeless people in downtown and the East Village.

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Possible 6th Victim of Attacks on Homeless Has Emerged – He Survived

July 19, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Possible 6th Victim of Attacks on Homeless Has Emerged – He Survived

A possible sixth victim in the series of attacks on homeless men has emerged from the shadows.

Phillip Petrina says he was attacked by an unknown assailant with a rock while sleeping and he says the man who attacked him is the same man arrested by police for the murders and attacks recently.

It happened on July 7th, he said, right in the middle of the serial attacks.

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Son of Local Ocean Beach Homeless Man Who Died Christmas Day Qualifies for the Olympics

July 19, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Son of Local Ocean Beach Homeless Man Who Died Christmas Day Qualifies for the Olympics

Editor: With so many terrible stories involving San Diego’s homeless lately, here is something different. Earlier this year, writers Vera Sanchez and Sunny Rey had covered a story on Craig Miller, a homeless man who lived in the streets of OB but who died on Christmas Day. They recently found out that his son, Cody Miller, qualified for the Olympics in swimming. Here is that story.

By Vera Sanchez and Sunny Rey

It is a kid’s dream to stand on an Olympic podium and have their nation’s flag wave high as he smiles at his family. Cody Miller, of Billings, Montana, qualified on June 27th for the Men’s 100m Breaststroke coming from behind to secure his spot on the Olympic swim team. This year’s games will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil beginning August 5th, 2016. The road for Cody did not come easy. Cody was born with Pectus Excavatum, also known as a sunken or funnel chest.

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Suspect Arrested Friday After 2 More Attacks on Homeless Men

July 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

From abc10News:

A man was detained and was being questioned in connection with an assault on homeless man in Golden Hill early Friday morning that investigators believe is linked to four other brutal attacks earlier this month that left three men dead and a fourth gravely injured.

Shortly before 4:30 a.m., a 55-year-old man was beaten while asleep in the area of 19th and C streets. San Diego police officers responded and found the bloodied victim with significant trauma to his torso, San Diego police Capt. Dave Nisleit told reporters in a morning briefing.

He was transported to a local hospital but is expected to survive.

A little before 5:45 a.m., a man was taken into custody in the area of Laurel and Brant streets in Bankers Hill. Nisleit confirmed the detained man was being questioned in connection with the attack. His name was not disclosed.

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The San Diego Convadium – Part 3

July 14, 2016 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

Part 1: 110 Pages of Gobbledygook
Part 2: Lipstick on a Pig

Section 35.0109 Additional Tax Imposed

Charger's ConvadiumThe Chargers want the City to create a separate Fund, the Convention Center Expansion and Stadium Fund, which will borrow money from Wall Street in the form of Bonds and be firewalled off from the City’s General Fund. So it’s like a separate entity for which the City is not responsible at all, but the City has to create it.

The BIG question is, “Will Wall Street go along with this?” The monies flowing into this fund come solely from an increase in the Tax On Transiency (TOT) of 4% (or is it 6% as stated in the proposal?).

If these monies aren’t sufficient to make the payments on the $1.15 billion in bonds that this “entity” (not the City, mind you) is responsible for, then what happens? Who’s left holding the bag?

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Suspect in Homeless Killings Released from Custody – No Charges Filed

July 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

homeless attacks Lt Nisleit 7-11-16

In a stunning turnaround, the man police had arrested as the suspect in the killings of 3 homeless men and the attack on a 4th, has been released from custody and has had no charges filed against him.

At a 3 pm news conference today – Monday – police explained that they did not feel confident in the evidence they had against Anthony Padgett, the man police had arrested last Thursday, July 7th on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and arson.

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Locals Help Displaced Homeless People During the All Stars Game – a Call for Volunteers

July 11, 2016 by Staff

City Cracks Down on Homeless While Most of San Diego Stands by Silently

By Jeeni Criscenzo

Photo by Adam Jones, Ph.D. - Global Photo Archive This is what happens when those in authority disparage a particular group of people.

Whether they mean to or not, their public expressions of contempt and disrespect give permission, and even encouragement, to those looking for an excuse to manifest their anger and hatred in violent actions against the most vulnerable.

I predict that future history books will call this the Trump Effect.

Every Monday our City sends out a team of a half dozen squad cards, sanitation vehicles, fire engines and ambulances to uproot our poorest neighbors.

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Suspect in Homeless Attacks Arrested and OB Victim Identified

July 8, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Suspect Imprisoned 6 Years Ago for Lighting Homeless Man on Fire

The suspect in the serial attacks on homeless men was arrested Thursday, July 7th, and the Ocean Beach victim of one of his fatal attacks has been identified.

Anthony Alexander Padgett, 36, was arrested by San Diego Police in Chula Vista about 10 a.m. Thursday. The arrest occurred near H Street and Broadway. He was booked on 5 felony counts altogether, two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of arson.

San Diego homicide Capt. David Nisleit told the media :

“At this time, we have probable cause to arrest Mr. Padgett for these heinous crimes.”

homeless attacks OB Vict Shawn Longley

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Video of Suspected Killer of Homeless Men

July 6, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Video of Suspected Killer of Homeless Men

Here’s the video that has been released of the suspect of the vicious assaults on homeless men at a convenience store buying goods. It was released by the Homicide department of the San Diego Police Department.

If you have any information on this person please call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of $1,000.

COME INSIDE FOR THE VIDEO – IT CANNOT BE PLAYED FROM OUR HOME PAGE.

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Other Victims of Killer of Homeless Men Identified – Including Ocean Beach Man

July 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

The other victims of the vicious attacks on homeless men have now been identified.

In the Midway District of the 4th of July, the killer assaulted his second victim who has been identified as Manuel Mason, 61, who was stabbed and found at Greenwood and Kurtz streets at about 4:50 a.m. The good news is that he is expected to survive, but is still in in critical condition.

An hour or so later near tennis courts at Robb Athletic Field in Ocean Beach, Shawn Longley, 41, was found dead with wounds to the upper torso.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma

July 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB cliff rescue 7-6-16Man Falls to His Death from Sunset Cliffs

An unidentified man fell to his death, Tuesday, July 5th, off Sunset Cliffs, near Ladera Street. …

Is Reader Article on “Aggressive Homeless” Inappropriate Right Now?

There is a new SD Reader article out, published online on July 6th, about how OB is on edge – not because of the killer of homeless on the loose, but because of “aggressive transients”. Badtaste? …

Poke Hotspot Heading to OB

Poke is currently blowing up in San Diego, and the latest hotspot will be take-out hub It’s Raw Poke Shop, heading to Ocean Beach by early August.

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Killer of Homeless on the Loose – Severely Injured Fourth Victim Set on Fire in Downtown San Diego

July 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

This is an update on the series of grisly and vicious attacks on homeless people that have occurred this week – that have now claimed their fourth victim. A homeless man was set on fire early today – Wednesday, July 6 – in downtown San Diego.

One of the first victims – the other victim whose body was burned – has been identified as Angelo De Nardo, 53. An autopsy determined that he had been killed before being doused with gas and set afire.

The other attacks occurred around Mission Bay; one in Ocean Beach – in Robb Field where a sleeping houseless man was beaten to death; another in the Midway area, where a man was beaten, but survived and is now hospitalized with life-threatening injuries; De Nardo’s death occurred just east of Mission Bay. The victims from OB and the Midway have not been identified.

Police say that the 4th victim’s injuries match the pattern of the earlier attacks.

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“I’m Just Saying … What about All the Lonely People with No One to Celebrate With?””

July 5, 2016 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for “I’m Just Saying … What about All the Lonely People with No One to Celebrate With?””

By Judi Curry

This should not be construed as a “poor me” article. It isn’t meant to be seen that way; rather it should be an insightful message to those more fortunate to have people around them that care, that are concerned, and are aware of mental status.

The Fourth of July. It used to be such a fun day when my husband was alive. We did all of the things that people do on the fourth; BBQ, watch the fireworks, and, when legal, even had our own show. Frequently we would take the boat out and catch some fish for homemade ceviche or sushi.

He’s been gone almost seven years now and the Fourth of July is only another day; a day of keeping my dog calm because of the assh*les that insist on shooting off fire crackers all day by the beach. Shadow doesn’t mind the fireworks – Sea World in their infinite wisdom of continuing with their polluting noisy 9:50 pm show – has allowed him to become somewhat immune to the percussion’s he feels every evening. Oh yeah, he still tries to get away from it, but he is much better than my other dogs that tried to get under the carpet to hide.

No, this is not about Shadow, but about all of the lonely people that have no one to celebrate with.

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Will the Balboa Park Make-Over Include Rockscaping for the Homeless?

July 5, 2016 by Doug Porter

Yesterday the sweeps continued- Photo via Michael McConnell

By Doug Porter

What kind of a city is it that entertains funding a new stadium, a convention center expansion, a major events arena, gondolas, and a parks make-over, but can’t figure out a short term solution to homelessness other than criminalizing it?

That would be San Diego.

Yes, I know it’s apples and oranges–different pots of money are involved, some are subject to voter approval and others will only be indirectly supported by the taxpayer…

But … where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Presently there are a lot of moving parts in play when it comes to the future of America’s Finest City. Let me lay out a couple items for your consideration.

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Man Suspected in 3 Vicious Attacks on Homeless – Kills 2 – One in OB – Seriously Injures 3rd

July 5, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

UPDATED: One of the victims has been identified as Lorenzo. And the local NBC affiliate spoke with the clerk who sold gas cans to the suspect.

COME INSIDE FOR MORE OF UPDATE …

NBC 7 spoke to a Hector Roman who told them he knew the burned victim as Lorenzo. He told the media that Lorenzo came by his store often, and would buy sandwiches, soups and candybars:

Homeless attacks July 2016 map

There is a suspect in vicious attacks on three homeless men over the July 4th weekend – attacks that killed two – including one in Ocean Beach, and seriously injured a third.

The suspect – as yet unidentified – is in photos here. He is described as a white male, 40 to 50 years old, who was wearing a tan or brown jacket or sweatshirt, a green Army hat or baseball cap and tan khaki pants, and carrying a backpack.

Here is what happened, as best as we can put together:

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The Homeless Artists Who Make Ocean Beach Rock

June 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Have you ever wondered who’s piling the rocks up – making artistic piles – along the entryway into OB? Have you even noticed them?

There’s these two guys – Corey and Greg – both homeless – who are making Ocean Beach rock with their rock art.

You can see it along the Sunset Cliffs Boulevard entryway into and out of OB. And Corey and Greg have been doing this for the past eight months – they told me. They work everyday, they say, 7 days a week, on their art.

Greg – the self-admitted artist of the two – figures they have completed up to a quarter of a mile of their installations. Corey agreed that it takes a lot of time just to assemble one pile.

So, it’s constant.

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Let Them Eat Rocks

June 27, 2016 by Source

police ticket homeless

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

Last week was a helluva week for those of us helping people without a place to live.

There were plenty of tweets and Facebook posts about the heatwave, as well as the Border fire that was threatening several communities out in East County. But unlike the all-out effort to help residents, pets and livestock in the path of the fire, there was no effort to help the residents of downtown under direct assault from a relentless sun.

Except for access to the library which, for those living on the street, would entail leaving all of your few meager possessions outside, unattended, there was no Health and Human Services program to help them.

The week actually began last Friday for me when my friend Martha Sullivan called asking for help to provide a Cooling Station offering lifesaving hydration and shade for homeless people during the predicted heatwave.

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Socks for Homeless Vets Being Collected for Stand Down San Diego

June 24, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Socks for Homeless Vets Being Collected for Stand Down San Diego

By South OB Girl

Victor Brown, Field Representative for Speaker Emeritus of the Assembly, Toni Atkins, had his hands full of socks at Wednesday night’s OB Town Council meeting – all donated by local OBceans.

Socks for Stand Down was started in 2015 by State Assembly Member Toni G. Atkins, Speaker Emeritus, after local Stand Down organizers expressed a need for socks and underwear for homeless veterans attending Stand Down.

Under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Stand Down events are one to three-day events providing supplies and services to homeless veterans.

Homeless veterans receive food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, dental care, VA Social Security benefits, and counseling.

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An Ocean Beach Garage Repair Has Locals Steamed

June 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for An Ocean Beach Garage Repair Has Locals Steamed

They’ve been doing it for years – if not decades. A local OB garage repair parks its customers’ cars and vehicles on adjoining public streets. And sometimes those vehicles sit there … for long periods of time.

Well, now, neighbors of the garage are so steamed that they have filed a complaint with the City of San Diego.

Everybody knows the Eber Street Garage at the corner of Voltaire and Eber Street in north-east Ocean Beach. And it’s Tony Calfato’s – the owner’s – habit of having his employees park the cars they are working on or that have been fixed on Eber Street, or around the corner of Lotus, or up a block on Froude.

So, nine residences have complained. Homeowners, tenants – from all the surrounding streets. They have filed a citation against the garage, have a case manager, who has been out there on site and who has taken dozens of photos.

Is anything happening?

Not really, locals say.

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Lori Saldana: Ask Mayor Faulconer to Stop Downtown “Cleansing” of Homeless

June 20, 2016 by Source

June 20th Is World Refugee Day and Day Mayor Authorized Sweep of Homeless Possessions

Today – June 20 – is World Refugee Day. It is also the day that Mayor Kevin Faulconer has authorized a massive “sweep” to clear tents, tarps, and other personal belongings from areas downtown.

Whether from economic or political crisis, displaced families with no safe, permanent housing face increased health risks on a daily basis. They are more likely to be victims of violent crime. Women and young people are more vulnerable to rape and sexual assault.

Forcing people away from shelter, and/or to pack up their belongings and move on the hottest day of the year, will add to physical and emotional stress that may result in more emergency responders being called to manage their care. That cost falls on all San Diegans- both in economic and humane ways.

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Baseball’s All-Star Game in San Diego: Rocks for the Homeless?

June 17, 2016 by Doug Porter

anti homelessBy Doug Porter

The infamous rockscaping in and around East Village was installed as part of the city’s preparation for Major League Baseball’s 2016 All-Star game on July 12.

The wishes of the surrounding community, the supposed reason for the installation, were actually not considered.

Even as emails on the situation were made public on Wednesday by Kelly Davis at Voice of San Diego , local gendarmes were rousting homeless people who’d moved to surrounding neighborhoods as a result of the city’s actions.

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Peering into the Heart of Darkness: Why I Oppose Mayor Faulconer’s FY’17 Budget

May 25, 2016 by Anna Daniels

homeless w signBy Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

The following is the public testimony that I provided at the May 16 budget hearing before the San Diego city council.

Good Evening. My name is Anna Daniels and I am a resident of City Heights. I have attended close to a decade of budget hearings, always as an advocate for our library system.

But this year is different. I stand here before you as a person of conscience who has been witnessing first hand a burgeoning and permanent underclass of the dispossessed in City Heights and San Diego.
homeless sign vet one in 4

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San Diego’s Crisis of Compassion: Scorn and Indifference Do Not Solve Homelessness

May 6, 2016 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

homeless familyIt doesn’t take the recently released Point in Time Count report to know that the number of unsheltered people in downtown San Diego is exploding.

Seeing every vacant lot encircled with blue tent and tarp encampments propped against chain-link fencing has ceased to evoke alarm. It’s now the norm.

The fact that we have become so accustomed to seeing human beings huddled in these makeshift shelters is a pathetic indictment of our city’s dismal failure to solve our housing problem.

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Is Affordable Housing in the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? – Part 3

May 5, 2016 by John Lawrence

The City Needs to Build and Own More Affordable Units

SD Housing CommissionBy Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

According to a recent Zillow report: “Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and San Diego are unaffordable for both renters and buyers. … Looking forward, the picture doesn’t look bright for renters.

Rents will likely keep rising at roughly their current pace for at least the next few years, which will lead to a continued affordability crunch unless wage growth significantly improves.”

Enter the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) whose job is to redress the balance of unaffordable rents to make it possible for San Diego to be inhabited by other than rich folks.

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The 2016 Mayoral Contest: Lori Saldaña Aims to Offer a Choice, Not an Echo

April 29, 2016 by Doug Porter

Lori Saldana official picBy Doug Porter

If you buy into the notion, currently in vogue with supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders, of Democratic party orthodoxy as being little more than Republican lite, then Lori Saldaña would the logical choice to vote for in the upcoming San Diego mayoral primary.

The former assemblywoman has an activist pedigree, a history of hard-fought grassroots campaigns, and the enmity of the local political establishment.

In January Saldaña launched an independent campaign to challenge Kevin Faulconer, undaunted by a million dollar war chest (including PACs) and the advantages accompanying incumbency in America’s Finest City. The current mayor’s single greatest accomplishment thus far, in my opinion, has been directing the public relations players at his disposal in a non-stop symphony of praise for their leader, so it ain’t gonna be easy.

Environmental Activism, Plus

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