Tents for homeless residents line up Island Street in downtown San Diego / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

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That could never happen to me. They must have substance abuse or mental health issues. The help is there but they don’t want it because they prefer to live on the streets. 

Those are some of the most common myths said about homelessness. It’s an issue that touches the lives of almost every San Diegan. 

But the truth is that homelessness — and what causes it — is complex and sometimes our own assumptions about those experiencing it keeps us from fully understanding the crisis. 

In the latest episode of the San Diego 101 Podcast, hosts Adriana Heldiz and Maya Srikrishnan tap into experts and individuals with lived experience to debunk three myths about homelessness. Voice of San Diego’s Lisa Halverstadt also joins the duo to walk through the reality of the city’s homelessness crisis. 

Click here to listen to the episode. 

Journalists Slayings in Tijuana Bring New Levels of Fear and Solidarity

Reporters Jose Ibarra and Gabriela Martinez Cordova hold picture frames of slain news photographer Margarito Martinez Esquivel outside Tijuana’s police office at the muncipial department of public safety on Jan. 24, 2022. / Photo by Carlos A. Moreno

In less than a week’s time, two journalists were killed in Tijuana. While Mexico has become one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, where crimes against them mostly go unsolved, it had been nearly 18 years since such an attack occurred on a journalist in Tijuana.

The slayings, thus, have hit close to home, creating a new level of fear among journalists in the city, writes Sandra Dibble in this week’s Border Report.

Dibble describes how journalists in the city are responding to the attack. In addition to the fear and anger, the killings have brought Tijuana’s journalists closer together than she’s ever seen in her more than two decades reporting in the city.

In Dibble’s early years as a reporter, there were other high-profile attacks against journalists. But she said this has never stopped the tenacity, independence and courage of their reporting. They’ve also always been ready to help her and other San Diego journalists in the region.

“They have always protected me, and more than anything, this has made me feel helpless about protecting them,” Dibble writes.

Read the Border Report here.

Mayor Announces Major Midway Homeless Camp Clean-Up

A San Diego Police car sits across a homeless encampment in the Midway District on Sept. 28, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Mayor Todd Gloria announced Monday that he has ordered a major clean-up of a Midway District homeless camp that has grown dramatically over the last year.

Gloria said the city has notified residents staying along much of a stretch of Sports Arena Boulevard between Rosecrans Street and Pacific Highway that they will need to move Tuesday to allow city crews to clean the area. By one count in January, the growing camp documented in an NBC 7 story last week included 94 tents and an estimated 183 people.

The clean-up operation follows a five-day homeless outreach effort in mid-January that included city outreach contractor People Assisting the Homeless, the county and several other organizations. During the operation, dozens received services, but just seven moved into shelter — a total likely throttled by the spike in COVID cases that has largely halted city shelter intakes and residents’ concerns about both recent outbreaks and shelter conditions. Gloria’s office described a hesitancy “to accept shelter placement despite knowing clean-up operations were imminent.”

The large-scale clean-up that had been expected the week after the outreach operation was postponed by rain and a past legal settlement requiring the city to give residents ample notice before proceeding.

Gloria’s office on Monday tweeted that his team was determined to proceed with the clean-up after outreach workers learned multiple people had a stomach illness and reported that residents were “living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.”

Continue reading …

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In Other News

  • Our Andrew Keatts and Scott Lewis wrote in the latest Politics Report that insiders were on high alert ahead of a Monday closed-door City Council discussion of three lawsuits tied to the city’s 101 Ash St. debacle — and some speculated what would likely be a controversial settlement might be imminent. But there weren’t any big announcements Monday. A city attorney said at the end of Monday’s open City Council hearing that there were no updates to report publicly.
  • A new five-story mural paying homage to the local history of lowriders and car clubs from the 1970s and ‘80s, especially Logan Heights’ Brown Image, is taking shape in Chicano Park. (Union-Tribune)
  • Demolition finally began at Hillcrest’s long-vacant restaurant, Pernicano’s. Here is some background on Pericano’s past and why it has remained empty for so many decades. (NBC 7)
  • ABC 10 reported that a Coronado city official was placed on administrative leave after allegations surfaced that the employee and their wife, who works for a private school in Riverside, made racist remarks toward Asians. The city did not release the name of the employee.
  • Local pickleball fans are lobbying the city for a pickleball center in Point Loma, but city officials say a better solution is to sprinkle courts throughout the city at various parks, recreation centers and school campuses. (Union-Tribune)

This Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan, Andrea Lopez Villafaña and Lisa Halverstadt. It was edited by Megan Wood.

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