The Palomar Family YMCA in Escondido / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

San Diego County’s YMCA, now more than ever, has a reason to feel down. From the outfall of the pandemic, it is hurting financially. In November, it furloughed 2,000 employees and laid off 1,860 of them in January, though some have been rehired. And it’s put one of its locations up for sale, to the dismay of Escondido leaders.

Many of its branches, which provide youth development and family support, aren’t providing the services their communities relied on before, writes Sofía Mejías Pascoe.

“You see a community that I believe has lost its social fiber. How that’s replaced, Lord knows how that’s going to come about,” said Herman Collins, a political consultant in San Diego who welcomed diverse leadership changes at the top of the organization. 

Pascoe shares in a new piece why the YMCA is struggling to stay afloat after the COVID-19 pandemic and what its dissipating presence in some parts of the community means to the people who live there. 

Activists’ Demands Ramp Up Following Escondido Police Shooting

Escondido continues to grapple with the deadly shooting last week of a mentally ill homeless man, but police have still not released body-worn camera footage of the incident.

As activists demand the footage’s release, the police department has said the man, wielding a metal pipe, charged the officer, who yelled warnings before he shot. They’ve also released details on his previous arrest record, though it is not clear whether the officer knew of the record at the time of the encounter.

While they wait for the footage’s release, activists are renewing demands they made last year to both implement a citizen-led oversight body for the city’s police department, and asking the CityCouncil to divert money from the police department to social services that could have provided help to people like the man who was shot. Kayla Jimenez breaks it all down in this week’s North County Report.

  • Who polices the police is, helpfully, one of the subjects we tackle in the new season of our San Diego 101 video explainer series. You can check out all the videos here.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by MacKenzie Elmer and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.

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