Concerns Over Democrats’ New Homeless Plan Following Prior Failures of Oversight and Accountability in Democrat-Run Homeless Program in San Diego County
The proposal by City Councilman Stephen Whitburn to establish a campground for homeless residents in Balboa Park has drawn opposition from various Balboa Park organizations. The Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, consisting of around 25 park institutions, has conveyed to Whitburn that it doesn’t support the establishment of a campground in a typically underutilized parking lot at Inspiration Point. The park organizations feel that this would not be an appropriate site for accommodating unhoused residents uncomfortable with traditional shelter options. The Cultural Partnership has cited that Inspiration Point is the front door to Balboa Park and needs to be a safe and welcoming environment for all visitors, volunteers, paid staff, and schoolchildren who come to the park every day.
The City is also considering other sites, and the campground proposal is part of Whitburn’s larger plan to prohibit camping on public property when shelter options are available, ban homeless camps at all times within two blocks of schools and shelters, in parks including Balboa Park and along trolley tracks. Whitburn envisions the site providing restrooms, food, and services and has cited Denver’s Safe Outdoor Spaces program as an example.
However, the Balboa Park organizations are not pleased with the vague proposals being discussed and believe that they, visitors, and other stakeholders should get a chance to participate in a public process surrounding the proposal. They also believe that the vague proposals being discussed are likely to have other unforeseen consequences that could cause a mess of other problems. The Cultural Partnership wants the City to consider all stakeholders’ concerns and ensure that Balboa Park remains a safe and welcoming environment.
The Balboa Park organizations’ concerns about the proposed safe campground reflect similar concerns about the lack of accountability and oversight in other Democrat-run homeless programs in San Diego County. The tragic molestation in the El Cajon Motel 6 should be a wake-up call for all leaders to prioritize accountability and oversight in all government-funded programs. Democrats need to take responsibility for their role in allowing this program to continue without adequate oversight and ensure that steps are taken to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
Overall, the Balboa Park organizations are concerned that establishing a campground could have unforeseen consequences, and they want the City to consider all stakeholders’ concerns. They feel that Balboa Park needs to be a safe and welcoming environment for everyone, and they want the City to work together with them to find a solution that addresses the homelessness crisis without compromising the safety and beauty of the park.