A woman holds as sign that reads "Plan Not a Ban" in the City Council Chambers opposing the homeless camping ban in downtown on June 13, 2023.
A woman holds as sign that reads "Plan Not a Ban" in the City Council Chambers opposing the homeless camping ban in downtown on June 13, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

A controversial homeless camping ban is now awaiting Mayor Todd Gloria’s signature.

The San Diego City Council on Tuesday again voted 5-4 to approve an ordinance barring camping on public property when shelter is available and at all times in some yet-to-be specified parks and within two blocks of schools and homeless shelters.

City Councilmembers and advocates who oppose the ordinance say it could simply disperse unsheltered people – rather than provide meaningful solutions to homelessness. Those in the mayor’s camp say the measure is necessary to crack down on public health and safety concerns tied to encampments.

What’s Next: The ordinance is for now set to go into effect 30 days after Gloria signs it – or 30 days after the first safe camping site opens, whichever occurs latest. Gloria says he’ll be signing the ordinance this week, which means the ordinance will likely go into effect in late July. Attorneys have hinted at legal issues with the ordinance.

Where Will They Go? Gloria said he expects the first of two safe campsites in Balboa Park to open by the end of this week. The first site will accommodate 136 tents – a small number compared to the 2,100 people sleeping on downtown streets, according to a May census. A second, larger campsite is expected to open this fall.

Catch up: We’ve written about the shelter shortage the city must confront as it tries to enforce the ordinance; how it could push homelessness out of East Village; the police department’s plan to enforce it; and unsheltered residents’ reactions to the new policy. 

Fact Check: As part of his push for the new ordinance, Gloria has claimed he increased shelter by 70 percent – nearly double – during his time in office. We dug into the numbers and, well, he hasn’t

County OKs $8.11 Billion Budget  

San Diego County Administration Building / File photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran

County supervisors on Tuesday approved an $8.11 billion budget that prioritizes access to housing, mental health and addiction treatment, increased funding for health and human services and combatting pollution on San Diego’s coastlines.

To address homelessness in the county, officials plan to spend $5.8 million on prevention and stability programs and $2.3 million on LGBTQ+ homeless services and housing, among other line items. The county also plans to sink $25 million into its Innovative Housing Trust Fund, a gap financing program to help fund affordable housing projects.

Opioid addiction treatment and prevention received $7.1 million and $10.9 million was allocated to behavioral health initiatives like mobile crisis response teams and the crisis line. The county also plans to spend $18.3 million to implement the state-mandated Care Court program, which will require the county to serve people with behavioral health conditions who have been compelled to seek treatment. The budget also allocated $8.8 million to deliver long-term behavioral health beds that have for years been in short supply in the county.

The county’s Health and Human Services Agency also received funding to add 113 positions to support programs like CalWORKs, CalFresh and Medi-Cal.

The county also pledged to invest $2.7 million to improve water quality in the Tijuana River Valley and $3.5 million to a comprehensive tree maintenance program.

  • County supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to declare the cross-border sewage debacle a public emergency and called for President Joe Biden and Gov. Gavin Newsom to fast-track solutions. (CBS 8)

These Aren’t Love Letters 

The Athletic on Monday published a couple of letters at the core of a messy breakup

San Diego State’s President Adela de la Torre on June 13 wrote to the Mountain West Conference and all its members. Here’s what she said, “this letter is to formally notice that San Diego State … intends to resign from the Mountain West Conference … effective June 30, 2024, or at an agreed upon later date.” 

Then de la Torre made some requests for the school’s exit from the conference. She asked to discuss the exit fee and extend a notification deadline of this Friday. In other words, SDSU was ready to see other people, but it wanted to establish terms for the breakup. 

Background: As we explained in the latest VOSD podcast, SDSU has been making big moves. Its sports teams are crushing it. It has a shiny new stadium. The school is ready to move on. But it’s up against a deadline, and a lot of money is at stake. (Listen to the full episode here.

Mountain West interpreted de la Torre’s letter differently, as the letters published by The Athletic show. Here’s their timeline of the exchange. 

Related: As the deadline looms, no one is taking, the Union-Tribune reports, but the paper identified a couple of scenarios of what could come next. 

In Other News 

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

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