County Supervisor Joel Anderson is urging his colleagues to vote next Tuesday to pursue an unsafe camping ordinance for unincorporated areas following similar moves by the cities of San Diego and Poway.
In a pitch letter to the board, Anderson noted that the county “successfully cleared encampments such as the North Magnolia Avenue site in unincorporated El Cajon” but that an ordinance would give the county another tool to clear camps “on a wider scale throughout the county’s unincorporated communities.”
“Homelessness does not stop at a city’s limits – it is a regional issue that must be addressed collaboratively in partnership with our cities,” Anderson wrote in a separate statement sent to Voice of San Diego. “I’m hopeful my colleagues will agree with my proposal to adopt a similar ordinance already enacted in multiple cities, which will give our county another tool in the toolbox to help get people off our streets and into safe shelter.”
Still open questions: Anderson isn’t saying whether the ordinance should bar camps in all public spaces when shelter is available or whether it could bar camps in certain areas with public safety concerns even when there aren’t available beds, as the city of San Diego opted to do. A spokesman said the supervisor would defer to county staff to hash out the details if his colleagues support moving forward.
Anderson’s proposal also called for staff to assemble a list of properties where the county could potentially shelter people staying in camps impacted by the ordinance.
That’s not all: Anderson also wants the county to take a position on a legal battle over an Oregon city’s camping ban and to direct county counsel to file a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case. The city of San Diego, District Attorney Summer Stephan and Gov. Gavin Newsom, among others, have already filed briefs asking the nation’s high court to weigh in.
City Gets Updated Tab to Combat Homelessness
The city needs to invest $1.9 billion in efforts to combat homelessness and another $1.4 billion in housing developments to put a dramatic dent in its foremost crisis over the next six years, according to a new report.
The city and its Housing Commission have teamed with nonprofit Corporation for Supportive Housing to update the city’s 2019 homelessness plan to account for an avalanche of need since the pandemic.
CSH’s updated modeling calls for the city to add more than 3,500 new supportive housing units, at least 465 new shelter beds, 3,000 more short-term rental-assistance slots and more than 4,000 interventions to aid people who are newly homeless or about to fall into homelessness.
Housing Commission Executive Vice President Lisa Jones said the city’s progress on the 2019 homelessness plan showed it can rise to the challenge when cash is available and positions the city to advocate for new resources from the state and federal governments – and perhaps voters.
“We just need more money than we have available right now,” Jones said.
What’s next: Jones said city officials will continue working with CSH in coming months to draft an updated homelessness plan with more specific goals.
Related: The Union-Tribune reports that the city is now planning to sell the downtown skydiving center it converted into a homeless service hub to a buyer who will convert it into an affordable housing site. (Warning: This article one’s only for U-T subscribers.) (Also, in case you’re wondering why the city owns a former indoor skydiving center, here’s some history.)
We Need Your Help
A few weeks ago, our reporter Will Huntsberry wrote about a fake charity calling itself Chula Vista Fast Pitch that raked in money at Petco Park for nine years.
The group became, essentially, a staffing service for the venue. If it wasn’t a nonprofit though, then the workers weren’t volunteers. We have heard that many high school students have worked at Petco and other major venues on behalf of nonprofits of all kinds.
We would like to learn more about the people who “volunteer” to help make these concession stands work. Have you ever worked at a concession stand at Petco Park or another venue on behalf of a nonprofit? Do you know someone who has?
We’d love to hear about the experience. Send Huntsberry an email at email@example.com or call 619-693-6249.
Want to spread the word? You can share our post on Instagram here.
In Other News
- The Union-Tribune reports that the city wants to tweak the city’s municipal code to make it easier to crack down on people who leave their vehicles on the street for more than 72 hours. A audit on city towing practices released last year found that 72-hour violations were among those that hit low-income and homeless San Diegans hardest.
- The Chula Vista City Council voted this week to expand its use of license plate readers in the wake of controversy over the police department sharing data its system collected with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, KPBS reports.
- Fox 5 San Diego reported that the Escondido City Council earlier this week approved annual water increases over the next five years, including an 8 percent hike effective in January.
- KPBS revealed that Mexican National Guard troops were caught on security cameras earlier this month trying to illegally raid a Tijuana migrant shelter for women.
- City News Service reports that a San Diego U.S. District Court judge once again overturned California’s assault weapons ban.
The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.