As the city ramps up an effort to crack down on homeless camps, it has quietly set aside more beds for referrals from San Diego police.
Our Lisa Halverstadt reveals that the city last month directed nonprofit Father Joe’s Villages to gradually reserve 50 beds for police referrals at its Golden Hall shelter. Once the transition is complete, police will have a total of 150 beds for this purpose, potentially paving the way for more enforcement of violations tied to homelessness including the camping ban.
What this also means: At least for now, fewer shelter beds will be available for unsheltered people seeking a bed at the city’s downtown Homelessness Response Center or via an outreach worker.
Some history: For nearly a decade, the city has set aside at least some beds for police referrals to make it easier for officers to offer beds to people they interact with. Historically these beds were more likely to sit open, saw more turnover and helped fewer people move into housing than others serving single adults. Halverstadt found that police are now filling more of their set aside beds but some of the past challenges remain.
Small Cities on State Housing Laws
Amid a statewide housing crisis, lawmakers have passed laws in an attempt to hold cities accountable for not allowing development. This has caused a lot of tension.
Our Tigist Layne led a conversation at this year’s Politifest on the housing battle with State Sen. Catherine Blakespear, Encinitas Mayor Tony Kranz, Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey and Ricardo Flores, executive director of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation.
Layne highlights some interesting moments from that discussion in her latest North County Report. Read the North County Report here.
You can also watch the recording by visiting our Politifest news and media hub.
State School Data Takeaways
Latest test scores show that despite small increases, San Diego Unified has a way to go before scores return to pre-pandemic levels.
Small gains, big hole: The percentage of San Diego Unified students who met or exceeded English standards increased ever so slightly, from 53.1 percent to about 53.7 percent. The percentage of students meeting or exceeding math standards, which saw a larger drop-off from pre-pandemic years, increased a little more, from 41.2 percent to about 43.1 percent.
San Diego Unified has long fared better on tests than both the state as a whole, and the same was true this year. The district’s English and math scores were about 7 and 8 percent higher, respectively, than California as a whole. Still, the district’s scores remain significantly lower than they were before the pandemic, when 57 percent of students met state English standards and about 48 percent met math standards.
Chronic absenteeism rates are down: San Diego Unified saw an about 8 percent drop in the overall chronic absenteeism rate, and double digit drops for some of the demographics most effected. Still, the districts 26 percent rate of chronic absenteeism is more than double what it was before the pandemic, and slightly higher than state and county figures.
In Other News
- Richard Bailey, mayor of Coronado, reflected on his time in office and his future, as he enters his last year in the mayor’s office. Bailey said he had no plans to run for “local office” again — this presumably does not include state or national elected offices — and that he hopes to see serious progress on the crossborder sewage crisis before he leaves office. (Coronado Eagle and Journal)
- More on Coronado: The City Council approved a housing plan that would rezone for as many as 1,049 new housing units on the island. However, councilmembers weren’t happy. They had tried to avoid the plan, but ultimately state authorities forced them into it. (Coronado Times)
- A “rapidly-intensifying” hurricane is set to make landfall in the southern Baja resort town of Cabo San Lucas on Sunday. (NBC 7)
- A local architect’s group released this year’s Orchid and Onion awards — the best and the worst in San Diego architecture. (Union-Tribune)
The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, Jakob McWhinney and Will Huntsberry. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.