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I have an idea to improve San Diego. The homeless population looks bigger than ever when you are in San Diego. Homelessness is a complex issue that can and should be improved upon, and ultimately it will probably never go away.

However, the biggest concentration of homeless appears to be downtown. The issue I have is that downtown San Diego is one of the main entertainment areas of the city, and one of our most visible areas is practically overrun with homeless. We have the ballpark, the Convention Center and the Gaslamp Quarter downtown, and yet people who come to our city as tourists and conventioneers might have to go past urine-soaked doorways and stoops. Don’t think that issues such as these won’t affect the tourism segment of our economy. It’s already bad, and action needs to be taken.

My idea is to create tourism zones in the city where the homeless are not allowed to stay. There must be some laws against loitering and/or pan-handling on the books that can be enforced. The most obvious areas that could be potential tourism zones would be downtown, the beach areas, and Old Town. In addition to enforcing tourism zones, there could be new programs to serve the homeless in conjunction with enforcing no-loitering laws. But a city such as San Diego that gets such a boon from tourism needs to address this burgeoning problem.

Joshua Brant lives in San Diego.

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Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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