Twenty people are now staying at a new campsite for unsheltered people at a city maintenance yard in Golden Hill.
During a Thursday press conference, Mayor Todd Gloria said operator Dreams for Change is for now welcoming about three people each day as it works to ramp up the site at 20th and B streets, an approach Gloria said is designed to minimize chaos. The site will eventually accommodate 136 city-provided tents. Unsheltered residents staying there have access to meals and portable restrooms and are for now being transported elsewhere for showers.
The Beefs: Some advocates and unhoused residents have argued that the city rushed to open the campsite so it could begin enforcing a City Council-approved camping ban later this month – and that the facility is lacking. CBS 8 reported on some of their concerns earlier this week. Among the issues flagged: a lack of showers, confusion about how unsheltered people could get into the program and a perceived lack of shade on hot asphalt.
Gloria spokeswoman Rachel Laing said mobile showers will begin coming to the site in a couple weeks and that the city is exploring whether it could get water service to the area so it can provide stationary showers. Laing said the city has also set up shaded cooling stations on site and that it will be evaluating other shade options in the weeks to come.
About Those Newcomers: Gloria’s team clarified Thursday that outreach teams identified homeless residents who they think would be good fits for the program and that the city is first prioritizing moving those people in. James Carter of the city’s Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department said other unsheltered residents who want to enter the program can call 2-1-1 to be linked to an outreach worker.
Gloria’s Pushback on the Beefs: “Often in this room or on social media, it’s very easy to prescribe how these operations should go. That’s very different for the people that actually have to do that. The people that need to be there 24/7, 365. From the safety of your iPhone, I’m sure it looks very easy. The reality is this is complex and difficult work. These are human beings that we’re talking about who have preferences and choices.”
Three UCSD Grad Workers Hit with Felony Conspiracy and Vandalism Charges
Tensions between UCSD and its unionized grad workers are continuing to ratchet up. After striking for an unprecedented month and a half, grad workers struck a deal on a contract with the UC system. But since that victory, UCSD union members have been upset with what they say has been a failure to properly implement elements of the contract.
Last month, we reported that UCSD had slapped over 60 graduate workers with administrative violations that could lead to their expulsion. The violations, which included allegations of physical assault, came after the grad workers staged a protest at an alumni event during which they took the stage and gifted Chancellor Pradeep Khosla a cardboard sign reading “most overpaid worker.” The grad workers say the protest was peaceful and that some of those issued violations didn’t even attend the event.
One week ago, three UCSD grad workers were arrested and held overnight on felony charges of conspiracy and vandalism. Their charges are related to a protest outside the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where grad workers wrote messages in chalk and washable paint. The university wrote in a statement that it had cost over $12,000 to clean and restore the property.
In both cases, the grad workers view UCSD’s actions as overkill and an attempt to crackdown on union organizing. In a statement, UCSD officials wrote “UC San Diego does not tolerate vandalism or other damage to university property.”
In Other News
- The Union-Tribune reported on a San Diego County Sheriff’s Department event meant to spotlight changes Sheriff Kelly Martinez has implemented to make jails more safe after years of calls for reforms to prevent jail deaths and improve conditions.
- Times of San Diego reported on San Diego County Water Authority’s warning that the departure of two rural water districts could cost the region’s water customers almost $200 million.
- A CBS 8 analysis revealed that the incarceration rate for Black youth in the county was more than 13 times higher than the rate for white youth.
- The Union-Tribune reports that the opening of the new East Mesa border crossing may be delayed.
- The Union-Tribune broke the news that the city’s ambulance service met – and exceeded – a crucial city goal for the first time last month.
The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt and Jakob McWhinney. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.