Robert Dukes at Alpha Project shelter in the East Village on March 27, 2023.
Robert Dukes at Alpha Project shelter in the East Village on March 27, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

City leaders are on a mission to deliver more shelter options for unhoused residents.

Meanwhile, existing city-backed shelters are struggling to connect those moving into them with permanent homes.

During a recent eight-month period, just 11 percent of the 2,385 people and families who departed city shelters overseen by the San Diego Housing Commission moved into permanent homes, according to agency data. Another 9 percent found other long-term housing in places such as a family member’s home or a transitional program.

What’s up with that? A Housing Commission executive told our Lisa Halverstadt that the city is staring down a “resource desert” following a spike in new permanent supportive housing units and aid in an already challenging housing market. The Housing Commission officials and others say the city is working to try to spur more affordable housing development and preparing to apply for state Homekey funds to try to provide a shot in the arm to efforts to house its homeless population.

A Few Sobering Reminders: Homeless residents seeking shelter in the city now often aren’t able to secure it and housing vouchers that help many move off the street are not the golden tickets they once were. Despite the focus on subsidized homes, regionwide data shows that a majority of residents exiting homelessness end up renting their own units without ongoing aid.

Read the full story here. 

Fletcher Isn’t Out – Yet

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher / File photo by Megan Wood
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher / File photo by Megan Wood

San Diego County supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to urge their colleague Nathan Fletcher to immediately leave office.

What’s not clear is whether Fletcher, who is in an undisclosed out-of-state treatment program in the wake of sexual assault and harassment allegations, got the message – or how the county will handle what had been an ongoing search for a new top bureaucrat to oversee the county’s 18,000 employees.

A Leadership Search Thrown into Chaos: As our Scott Lewis writes, the next steps on a search for a new county chief administrative officer that Fletcher had exerted significant influence over are now up in the air. A prominent Santa Clara politician is rumored to be a finalist. Everyone but Fletcher himself is now saying he shouldn’t get a vote on the county’s new top bureaucrat. Lewis explains what we know about where things stand … for now. 

Read the full story here.

BTW we asked: Fletcher’s office would only say Tuesday that the supervisor was “unable to respond due to the fact he is in treatment.”

Fletcher’s brother-in-law, however, took to Twitter on Tuesday to say the vote won’t deliver the quick departure that Fletcher’s fellow supervisors hoped to facilitate. He is for now still set to resign on May 15.

“Nathan has no contact with anyone (including family) outside the facility,” prominent environmental attorney Marco Gonzalez tweeted. “His intention to resign May 15th was unequivocal, and there’s nothing that will speed up or slow down the timing.”

The board is also still set to wait until May 2 to discuss whether to call a special election or to appoint a replacement to finish out Fletcher’s now three-and-a-half year term.

Biden Administration Gives Users of Endangered Colorado River Three Options

A view of Lake Mead on Jan. 31, 2023. The largest reservoir on the Colorado River has reached dangerously low levels due to prolonged drought and overuse. / Photo by Joseph Griffin for Voice of San Diego
A view of Lake Mead on Jan. 31, 2023. / Photo by Joseph Griffin for Voice of San Diego

The Biden Administration gave three options Tuesday to the western states that rely on but need to use less of the drought-afflicted Colorado River: Do nothing, finders keepers or everybody shoulder a hit.

The Bureau of Reclamation could potentially enforce reductions on water states are otherwise legally guaranteed should reservoir levels fall again to dangerous levels, despite record snow which alleviated some of the pressure to come up with a short-term solution. 

“Some may believe that this winter’s snow and rain has saved the river. But that is not the case,” said Tom Buschatzke, director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources during a press conference Tuesday.

Taking no action would risk the river reaching what’s known as “deadpool,” meaning water basically wouldn’t flow downstream to reach major cities like Los Angeles. The second option would dole out water cuts based on who already has a right to it, meaning California, the oldest and largest user, would be spared. The third option would dole out water cuts evenly, under which California would take on a larger cut and likely entice lawsuits. 

Years of climate change-driven drought and over use of the Colorado River that sustains 40 million people and a massive agricultural economy drove the Bureau of Reclamation to step in when it became clear the river might dry-up before states could agree on voluntarily reducing use. 

That fight drove a wedge between California and the other six Colorado River basin states who couldn’t agree on a path to reduce consumption.

Colorado River users have 45 days to comment on this proposal. The Biden Administration plans to make a final decision this summer. 

In Other News 

The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, MacKenzie Elmer and Will Huntsberry. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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1 Comment

  1. “Nathan has no contact with anyone (including family) outside the facility,”
    hmmm, y’mean even in case of family emergency? or vital legal matters? nah, i don’t buy that.

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