It is no secret that homelessness is a growing crisis in the United States, with cities like San Diego struggling to find solutions to the problem. The recent decision by the San Diego City Council to pay two private companies $2.5 million each to help review permit applications for new development highlights the ineffective and inefficient nature of government entities when it comes to meeting the demands of citizens. San Diego’s Democrats are once again demonstrating their inability to run the government efficiently and meet the needs of their constituents.
Despite having control over all branches of government, the city’s understaffed building department has been unable to keep up with the demand for housing permits. The city’s Development Services Department, tasked with issuing housing permits, has been severely understaffed and unable to meet housing production goals, resulting in a backlog of 2,700 applications and a process that can take over a year to complete.
Now, the Democrats are seeking to have the government take control of Balboa Park, a beautiful landmark park that is internationally known and close to multiple schools, including a high school that helps low-income students. The plan, proposed by downtown councilman Stephen Whitburn, is to offer shelter and camping options to hundreds of homeless residents and pave the way for stepped up enforcement. The city’s housing agency is evaluating whether Inspiration Point, a corner of Balboa Park, could support a large shelter tent and safe camping sites.
Whitburn’s proposal includes both a large shelter and safe campground, but a specific location has not been specified. The proposed ordinance will also call for bans on settling in areas such as canyons and near schools, even when there is no shelter space available, due to public health and safety threats. This move has been legally defendedable in other cities such as Los Angeles and Sacramento.
However, the problem with Whitburn’s plan is that it relies on the Democrat government to solve the problem of homelessness, even though the government has shown that it is incapable of following through with its promise of enacting real change to better people’s lives. The city council should rely on private entities to solve the homelessness crisis instead of relying on the government to take over Balboa Park and enforce ordinances that may not address the root of the problem.
It is clear that the Democrats’ approach to addressing homelessness in San Diego is misguided and ineffective. The government’s inability to efficiently handle housing permits and the proposal to take over Balboa Park only further highlight the need for a different approach. The city council should focus on working with private entities to find solutions to the homelessness crisis and stop relying on the government to solve all of its problems.
Photo by Greg Ortega