Homelessness has reached seemingly unprecedented levels in San Diego County per the latest point-in-time census.
During its January census, the Regional Task Force on Homelessness counted 10,264 homeless residents sleeping in shelters or outdoors throughout the region. That’s 22 percent more than during last year’s point-in-time count. Unsheltered homelessness rose 26 percent.
Our Lisa Halverstadt reports that this tally is the region’s highest in at least 12 years.
Halverstadt also zeroed in on other data points that speak to San Diego’s struggle to address the homelessness crisis.
- Mayor Todd Gloria is continuing his full court press to urge the City Council to approve a controversial homeless camping ban. Protestors showed up to Gloria’s Wednesday morning press conference and he was not pleased. 10 News has more details.
- Halverstadt has been digging into the ordinance this week. You can catch up on our coverage, including a map showing areas impacted by the ordinance even when shelter isn’t available, here.
The Learning Curve: Schools Continue to Struggle with Student Homelessness
State data shows the percentage of San Diego Unified’s students who are homeless is higher than it’s been in at least eight years. It’s one more data point in an onslaught of conflicting and overlapping data points about the homelessness crisis that’s embroiled the San Diego region.
But one thing’s for sure – homelessness has a significant long-term impact on kids. That’s why Barbara Duffield, the executive director of Schoolhouse Connection, a nonprofit that works on policies and programs to help homeless youth, thinks addressing homeless children and families should be a key priority.
And since homelessness is not a static figure, she said addressing homelessness early is key to stemming the downstream impact. Schools, she thinks, should play a pivotal role. “This is a lever and a resource that needs to be utilized much more extensively and not marginalized in conversations on homelessness, but rather take a central role,” she said.
San Diego’s Surveillance Dump
In case you missed it, San Diego dropped a steaming pile of surveillance tech a few days ago. As required by the city’s surveillance ordinance, the Police Department disclosed dozens of investigative tools already in its possession.
The U-T has a roundup of the big ticket items. We already knew about some of the technology, like drones, automatic license plate readers, fingerprint scanners and cell-phone hacking software from past reporting.
But as KPBS noted, SDPD is also using equipment to suck up “loads of data from vehicles suspected of being involved in a crime.” That includes details about the vehicle’s ignition, doors and seatbelt usage as well as contacts and call logs from cell phones.
The city’s Privacy Advisory Board is tasked with reviewing each of the items before going to the City Council for consideration.
In Other News
- Between 50 and 75 interactive advertising kiosks will soon be installed downtown. Proponents claim it will help with navigation, homeless people’s ability to find shelter beds and more. Opponents say they could be one more step toward blanketing the area with advertising. (Union-Tribune)
- The state Assembly passed legislation that exempts land Chula Vista set aside for a university from the Surplus Land Act, which would have required the city to offer it up to affordable housing developers. (Union-Tribune)
- California’s AG is suing the parents of two young children for allegedly starting a fire that burned 100 acres in Jamul. The state is demanding more than half a million bucks. (CBS 8)
- SEIU United Service Workers West announced that NOVA, a county contractor, apologized for its anti-union activities and agreed to reinstate two workers who were wrongly fired, as part of an agreement with the National Labor Relations Board. The janitors went on strike earlier this year, the U-T reported.
- U.S. Senator Alex Padilla visited a wastewater treatment plant this week at the border and called for more federal investment to halt the pollution flowing from the Tijuana River. (Union-Tribune)
The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, Jakob McWhinney and Jesse Marx. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.