Erin Miraz Bernier doodles on a piece paper. She is one of several homeless residents who were removed from an encampment on 16th Street in National City overlooking the 805 freeway. The group now stays on a nearby overpass. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

A handful of cities in North County and South Bay are taking steps to open new shelters for their homeless residents.

Lisa Halverstadt rounded up the discussions about new services in Chula Vista, National City, Oceanside and Vista.

For instance, Chula Vista and Oceanside last month voted to move forward with new homeless-serving projects while the National City and the Vista city councils are expected to take key votes on potential shelters in coming months.

The conversations aren’t moving as quickly in East County, though that could change following Supervisor Joel Anderson’s October request that county staff return with a plan early next year to provide new options for homeless residents in the region he represents. The request was broadened to include other unincorporated areas elsewhere in the county.

The push for increased shelter offerings throughout the county reflects an increased recognition of the region’s homelessness crisis and the need for cities to offer solutions for their homeless residents within their own boundaries. They also reflect increasing public pressure and a conclusion that shelter beds are a crucial component of cities’ homelessness responses in addition to longer-term housing that ultimately ends homelessness.

Click here to read the full story. 

Aerial view of the Nobel Drive Trolley Station under construction. /Image courtesy SANDAG

Politics Report

Unlike a Thanksgiving meal, our latest holiday-inspired Politics Report will definitely not put you to sleep! 

It is a potluck of public affairs. Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts look at a new campaign to boost funding for San Diego parks and libraries and a proposal to lower taxes on the companies that grow cannabis or manufacture it into edibles and other products. 

Our soon-to-be tryptophan-tripping scribblers also write about a working group that’s considering ways to reform the Housing Commission and some of the problems with the Mid-Coast Trolley. 

Public transit to nowhere? On Sunday, people were treated to free rides on the Mid-Coast Trolley, a $2.2 billion project in the works since the 1980s connecting the Blue Line from Old Town to University City. There was a lot of celebration over that

But the trolley line is also an example of the type of public transit that SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata doesn’t want to keep building because it runs along the freeway with four new stops along Interstate 5. “This is not going to move a lot of people — choice riders — to leave their car in the garage and go where they want to go,” was his characteristically blunt assessment.

The Union-Tribune also pointed out that the trolley stops two miles short of the beach. Critics worry that people will try it once, endure long walks and then never use it again. 

More politics… 

Over on the podcast, the crew jumped into the fray of redistricting and discussed how new changes in the city’s population affect political representation. Last week, Maya Srikrishnan reported that the high cost of living is squeezing Black San Diegans out of their traditional cultural and power base. 

The list of new local and state housing policies reads like a YIMBY wish list. But U-T columnist Michael Smolens considers whether the broad actions to make homes more affordable will work long term. 

In Other News

This Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx and Lisa Halverstadt. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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