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Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced the city’s plan to turn Golden Hall into a temporary homeless shelter with more than 240 beds in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced the city’s plan to turn Golden Hall into a temporary homeless shelter with more than 240 beds in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

This week on the VOSD podcast, hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby review how local leaders have responded to the coronavirus crisis.

From park closures to hotel rooms converted to quarantine facilities to …. maritime happenings, San Diego has seen some real “leadering” as Lewis put it.

One of the toughest pills to swallow for some residents has been the closure of beaches and parks. The city of San Diego took swift action to close outdoor spaces as San Diegans sought refuge in open areas; the decision was made — a bit early by some standards — to limit the amounts of people congregating while recreating.

Across the region, though, there’s been some mixed messaging about beaches. That has been up to individual jurisdictions, though the state has not closed its beaches yet.

A Leader Punished

Even further past the shore was some high drama on the high seas. This story got national attention but caught Lewis’s eye in light of local efforts. Navy Capt. Brett Crozier of Santa Rosa, commanding officer of the San Diego-based USS Theodore Roosevelt, was fired for leaking a letter in which he pleaded with Navy leadership to offload most of his crew in order to slow the spread of coronavirus and save lives.

Crisis Atop Crisis

Homelessness has long been a crisis facing the city but the coronavirus has changed the calculus. The county acquired over 2,000 hotel rooms to house the region’s most vulnerable residents and Mayor Kevin Faulconer opened up the Convention Center as a shelter to get people off the streets.

It’s a pretty stunning turn of events given that voters were recently asked to hike hotel taxes to fund a Convention Center expansion and fund homeless services. Now the Convention Center is its own form of homeless service.

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Nate John

Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at nate@vosd.org.

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