Homelessness in San Diego is Getting Out of Control, But There Might Be a Solution

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California hasn’t been doing well for a while now. People are moving out because of heavy COVID restrictions, high home prices, and homelessness.

As the real estate market continues to skyrocket in the Golden State, many more people are left homeless. They’re being priced right out of their homes. And as you drive through many of the largest cities, you see the homelessness problem that is growing.

Some cities have turned into tent cities, where the homeless live in tents on the side of the road. Other cities are trying to deal with the problem in the long term.

In San Diego, there are thousands upon thousands of homeless individuals. And no matter how much money they throw at the problem, there are still people without homes – and even basic shelter.

There might be a solution, but the city’s government officials aren’t too thrilled about it.

The San Diego Union-Tribune recently reported that “San Diego’s unsheltered homelessness crisis is at a critical stage.”

For a while, it seemed like things were turning around for residents. Homelessness increased during the years 2017 to 2019, but there was a decrease in San Diego by 29 percent. This was primarily due to over 600 shelter beds being placed in the city due to funding from the Lucky Duck Foundation.

When COVID hit, government officials in the city chose to open the San Diego Convention Center to the homeless. Since the property was vacant, it meant that over 4,000 people could receive shelter – and many were able to transition to permanent housing after that.

Soon, the convention center transitioned to providing shelter to unaccompanied migrant children. That meant that America’s homeless were back on the streets. It’s the way of the Biden administration – illegal immigrants first, Americans second. Since then, the number of people living on the streets and unsheltered have increased dramatically.

BUT…there had been a solution until the Biden administration stepped in to focus on unaccompanied migrant children.

Peter Seidler, the owner of the San Diego Padres, and Dan Shea, the CEO of Feeding San Diego, have been working together with civic and business leaders to see how the private sector could collaborate with the city to deal with homelessness.

One popular opinion is that adding bridge shelters and converting abandoned/empty government properties into shelters could provide a significant amount of assistance. The speed at which shelters could be offered is unparallel – and the cost to make the conversions is pennies on the dollar. It sure beats the cost and time of actually building new housing dedicated to the homeless.

The Regional Task Force on Homelessness has shared some of the new statistics of the homeless in San Diego County. From October 2019 to September 2020, the numbers increased by 79 percent – and another 12 percent from October 2020 to September 2021.

To say that something has to be done is an understatement. Government leaders don’t seem to be willing to do anything, though. They’re content to just watch the homeless stack up along the streets.

The Lucky Duck Foundation has been funding and leading many of the initiatives available in the county. They focus more on providing for the people who are in unacceptable situations. They don’t get involved with partisan politics.

If the city of San Diego agrees to the proposal of using abandoned city buildings, though, they lose the possible use of those. But, there’s a question to be asked – if it means taking homeless people off the streets, isn’t it worth it?

Throughout many liberal cities, including those in California and New York, Democrats want to ask private citizens to house the homeless. So, this makes sense – the government should be doing the housing. It’s just a matter of whether they will do what’s right or continue to ignore the problem.