Written by T. Logan Dayne
Homelessness across California has been on the rise and shows no signs of stopping. No definite strategy has been unveiled to date, no leaders have any actual plans to combat it besides temporary band-aid solutions. Mayor Todd Gloria for example has been supporting the crackdown on homelessness camps, a dramatic change in tone as he criticized his predecessor for similar practices, but has done nothing to actually solve homelessness.
Instead, he has moved homeless individuals and families into a city-owned hotel. Gloria’s “temporary” solution is to use the city-owned South Bay hotel as a shelter for those who are awaiting permanent housing. These are implied to be more city shelters such as a new women’s shelter and the Midway District tent shelter which should be moving forward in the coming months. These plans though are just moving the homeless from one place to another without actually solving anything.
Gloria is being criticized by advocates saying that his enforcement of homeless camp clean-ups hurt the efforts rather than help reduce homelessness. Gloria’s out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach doesn’t consider the myriad of reasons that homelessness exists and alienates quite a few who would otherwise be uncomfortably packed into shelters. With the new homelessness count, it appears that there are even more unsheltered individuals than available beds. The new census of homelessness puts the count at 2,494 and growing, with this estimate likely to be considered an undercount. Whatever Todd Gloria’s plan is, moving homeless individuals from one place to another shows no indication that it will slow down or reduce that number.
Photo Cred: NBC 7 San Diego