Hafsa Kaka, director of the city of San Diego's Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department, in 2021. / Photo courtesy of Mayor Todd Gloria's Office
Hafsa Kaka, former director of the city of San Diego's Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department, in 2021. / Photo courtesy of Mayor Todd Gloria's Office

This post first appeared in the May 18 Morning Report.

Hafsa Kaka, who recently departed her post as the top city of San Diego official focused on addressing homelessness, is now a senior adviser to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Kaka announced on LinkedIn this weekend that she had just finished her first week as a senior adviser on homelessness to the governor’s office.

“I am honored to be part of the cabinet team, humbled to be working in collaboration with state agencies, and excited in supporting local governments and stakeholders throughout California to address the humanitarian issue of homelessness,” Kaka wrote. “Collectively we can!”

The new post follows 19 months as director of the city’s Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department and a March city reorganization that shifted that department under the city’s neighborhood services division rather than have it report directly to Mayor Todd Gloria.

On Wednesday, Kaka told Voice that she was recruited by the Governor’s Office and that she saw her hiring as recognition of her success in San Diego.

“The good work was recognized,” Kaka said.

Worth noting: Kaka’s time at City Hall coincided with a visible increase in street homelessness even as she worked to add dozens of shelter beds and other increased service offerings – and not everyone was thrilled with her approach. The city and region have struggled to put a dent in the region’s homelessness crisis because the countywide homelessness response system has been unable to keep up with the number of people falling into homelessness

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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  1. She has a very appropriate name and it accurately describes what she has accomplished. This arrogant Caca lady just fought with the people who were supposed to help her and she wore out a trail from City Hall to the Starbucks three or four blocks away. We should demand that she return all of the compensation she was given because she certainly ripped us off.

  2. Absolute failure. Pure arrogance and an inability to lead gives us this Caca woman…

    1. Making fun of someone’s name is the most juvenile act, and it’s obvious that you wrote all three replies.

  3. I won’t be as crude as some of the comments here but I can confirm the arrogance of this woman. She is the type of person who you can make eye contact with, smile and say hello and she will keep looking at you and say absolutely NOTHING. This occurred numerous times with several people I know and this Kaka character was alone, not on the phone and did not have any ear plugs or pods or whatever they are called. But if someone higher up the ladder or at the same level greets her, she speaks. It takes a “special” person to do this to anyone.

  4. Maybe she can relocate all the homeless she grew here to the rest of the state. It’s perfect that Newsome picked her since he did such a bang up job in San Fransisco, two birds of a feather fail up together.

  5. She was useless here and will be a useless waste in Sacramento. Maybe we can give her a bus ticket to somewhere else.

  6. Objectively, her resume is a rich mosaic in failure. I cannot imagine what about this person makes her eligible for career advancement. We know all jobs are merit-based and have nothing to do with other factors.

  7. Why is someone that has been a complete failure at addressing homeless issues in San Diego working on homeless issues at the Governor’s office?! Idiotic. Who said what to the Governor’s office that hid her all her failures? If anyone should be homeless it should be Kaka.

  8. Mesdames, Messieurs, America is still a free country, and it is an honor to address all of you. I am running for Mayor of San Diego and

    yes, I will lose in the sense of being elected. I will win in the sense of instilling truth, honor, integrity, fairness, morality, ethics and common sense within

    the body politic. The voters in this great city remind me of my time in Ireland where I watched in awe the sheep following the leader on mountain trails. It

    is so sad and frustrating that the seemingly majority of voters are always unhappy with their elected leaders. The Mayor of San Diego has surrounded

    himself with yes men and yes women. This attributes to the degradation of political policy. My heartfelt belief is that any so-called leader in a democracy

    ought to surround themselves with contrary confidants offering disparate points of view. San Diego is not about the mayor. It is about humanity and the

    totality of our human experience. Public policy must yield to common sense. As one of hundreds of examples, 80% of San Diego bike lanes must be

    removed. And this measure comes from an Ironman triathlete. One who has logged more cycling miles on San Diego streets than maybe anyone.

    Vision Zero has failed! Vision Zero must be disbanded. Circulate San Diego is a circus and likewise put to the wrecking ball. Errant wild out of control driving must be criminalized for the safety of society.

    Mister Kevin Faulconer, a career politician has in Tom Shepard, le creme de la creme. Untold millions will be spent in dark sinister money to win this

    election. The voters really and honestly don’t care but I do and this in part is why I choose to run. Your reporters will label me as a crackpot and worse. You will burn me at the stake. I have been hundreds of times to Rouen so I can take the heat.

    I will not participate in your debates and/or questionnaires because quite frankly, I don’t want to be used as a scapegoat and prop for your insincere

    notion of American equality. There is no equality in America and God knows you know it! With best intentions, I am,
    Dan “Danny” Smiechowski

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