Despite more shelters, outreach, programs, homelessness on the rise in San Diego County

5/19/2022 3:14:00 PM

The annual count taken in February shows a 10 percent increase since January 2020

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Despite more shelters, outreach, programs, homelessness on the rise in San Diego County

The annual count taken in February shows a 10 percent increase since January 2020

In all, homelessness in San Diego County has increased 10 percent since January 2020, according to the report released by theThe count usually is done annually, but this was the first since January 2020 because of the pandemic“We have more people, we have more unsheltered, we have more challenges, and it is a little bit more miserable out there than I have seen in years.”

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said he wasn’t surprised at the increase.The city has added 271 shelter beds in the past year, a 25 percent increase, bringing the total to 1,468. An additional 450 beds are coming in the next few months, including a 125-bed shelter in the Midway area, a 40-bed women’s shelter and a 182-bed shelter for seniors and families that will be in two sites that have not yet been announced.

Read more: The San Diego Union-Tribune »

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Shelters =/= homes Shelters are by definition temporary. Thus homelessness persists... especially when the inventory is low and the costs are astronomical. How about more housing Thank you, Gary, for the ongoing account of such a complex issue. Maybe the homeless need homes, not shelters and outreach Wonder if this has to do with the ongoing housing shortage and massive housing cost spike we’ve seen over the last year 🤔

Gas Prices Near Record High in San Diego CountyThe average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County moved to within 2.1 cents of the record high Tuesday, increasing 3.9 cents to $5.997.

Average San Diego County gas price nears record high, increasing to $5.997 per gallon -SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County moved to within 2.1 cents of the record high Tuesday, increasing 3.9 cents to $5.997. The average price has risen 14 of the past 15 days, increasing 21.8 cents, including nine-tenths of a cent Monday, according to figures from the AAA and... KevinKileyCA Let's go Brandon KevinKileyCA 81 million KevinKileyCA Why do you guys keep rubbing it in our faces ? You don’t think we know this ?

San Diego County residents stand up to hate after mass shooting'We can’t say we’ve done away with racism when the children, 18-year-olds and right here in San Diego, the children that are 16, 17, 18 years old, are committing racial violence against Black people and brown people.'

San Diego County gas prices continue to rise ahead of Memorial Day weekend -SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County moved to within 2.1 cents of the record high Tuesday, increasing 3.9 cents to $5.997. The average price has risen 14 of the past 15 days, increasing 21.8 cents, including nine-tenths of a cent Monday, according to figures from the AAA and...

San Diego County gas prices continue to climb ahead of Memorial Day weekend and summer -HILLCREST (KUSI) – The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose to within one-tenth of a cent of its record Wednesday, increasing 2 cents to $6.017. RELATED STORY: San Diego County gas prices continue to rise ahead of Memorial Day weekend Californians will be paying the highest Memorial Day gas prices ever, should... 81 million “Back up” Did they ever really stop the last 18 mos?

Big cross-border tunnel found linking Tijuana, San DiegoThe secret passage featured rail and ventilation systems, electricity and reinforced walls, authorities said. The tunnel is in one of the most fortified stretches of the border, illustrating the limitations of border walls. 'Illustrating the limitations of border walls' On the contrary. How much time and energy did it take to build that tunnel as opposed to just walking across the border? Border walls keep out people. Tunnels bring in drugs. There is no accusation this tunnel was used for human smuggling. Since you cover AZ, would be interesting to find out if such a tunnel exists between Mexico and Tucson? Why is the state awash in fentanyl?

SAN DIEGO —  The numbers have confirmed what many already suspected.Android and pick your alerts.KUSI Newsroom SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County moved to within 2.• 7:19 Following what law enforcement is calling racially motivated murders at a Buffalo supermarket in a predominately Black community, a local violence prevention group is holding a vigil and protest against white supremacy at Balboa Park.

Homelessness has increased in San Diego County, and it’s especially apparent in several cities where tents and makeshift structures fill sidewalks, canyons and freeway offramps. Results of the first homeless count in two years, released Thursday, found the number of people living in vehicles or outdoors without shelter increased 9 percent in the city of San Diego. The price of a barrel of July Brent crude on ICE Futures Europe rose for the third time in four sessions, increasing $2. In Oceanside, where city officials have introduced a hotel voucher program and plan to open a shelter, the number of people on the street increased 31 percent.997. In National City, where the San Diego Rescue Mission plans to open a shelter next year, the number of people living without shelter increased 19 percent.24. In all, homelessness in San Diego County has increased 10 percent since January 2020, according to the report released by the . Bishop Cornelius Bowser of Shaphat Outreach, a nonprofit that focuses on violence intervention and prevention, said he and other local leaders would hold a vigil and protest at Balboa Park to stand up to hate and gun violence.

The actual number is likely much higher, officials said, and it could worsen as pandemic housing subsidies and protections expire. Crude oil costs account for slightly more than half of the pump price, according to the U. It is 14. Advertisement The Feb. 24 count found 8,427 homeless people in San Diego County, with just over half in shelters. Energy Information Administration. The other 4,106 were living outside of shelters, a 3 percent increase from 2020.843 greater than one year ago. Of that number, 713 were in vehicles. Copyright CNS - City News Service This article tagged under:. Many have been upset and critical about how that investigation was handled.

The count usually is done annually, but this was the first since January 2020 because of the pandemic and it showed the crisis persists despite increased efforts to get more people off the street. Since the last count, the city has purchased two extended-stay hotels and converted them to permanent housing for more than 400 formerly homeless people, Father Joe’s Villages has opened a 407-unit affordable housing project, and the city and county have worked together to increase outreach teams and other efforts. The national average price rose 4 cents to $4. “But even with all of that, our numbers have increased,” said Tamera Kohler, president and CEO of the Regional Task Force on Homelessness, the agency that coordinates the count. “We have more people, we have more unsheltered, we have more challenges, and it is a little bit more miserable out there than I have seen in years.” Matthew Clark, 55 relaxes at a park bench Wells Park on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 in El Cajon, CA. The price of a barrel of July Brent crude on ICE Futures Europe rose for the third time in four sessions, increasing $2.

Clark says he has been living on the streets between el Cajon and downtown San Diego for the past 4-years. (Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune) Advertisement San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said he wasn’t surprised at the increase. Brent crude is the global oil benchmark, accounting for approximately 80% of the world’s crude oil. “We see this with our own eyes every single day,” he said, adding that the pandemic likely contributed to the increased homeless population, which is happening throughout the state. “The numbers could have been larger, frankly,” Gloria said.

Like Kohler, Gloria noted that the increase in homelessness happened despite many efforts to address it, but he is hopeful that new programs, more shelter beds and additional housing will improve next year’s numbers. Energy Information Administration. The city has added 271 shelter beds in the past year, a 25 percent increase, bringing the total to 1,468. An additional 450 beds are coming in the next few months, including a 125-bed shelter in the Midway area, a 40-bed women’s shelter and a 182-bed shelter for seniors and families that will be in two sites that have not yet been announced. “Now, is it enough?” Gloria said. Instead, they supported a plan to distribute debit cards to California residents and vehicle owners, which were supposed to arrive in July, but now looks like that was very optimistic. “No, it’s not.

But I think it demonstrates a commitment with the city to acknowledge the problem.” Of the 4,321 people counted in shelters in this year’s report, 3,036 people were in emergency shelters such as the large tents operated by the Alpha Project, 1,249 were in transitional housing and 36 in a safe-haven, temporary housing for people in rehab programs. — Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA). As usual, the city of San Diego had the largest population of homeless people in the county, with 2,307 people in shelters and 2,494 living without shelter. The increase in the city’s unsheltered homeless population is most noticeable in several city blocks near Father Joe’s Villages on Imperial Avenue, and it was documented in an unrelated monthly count of homeless people conducted by the Downtown San Diego Partnership. The partnership’s April count found 1,474 people living outside, a 68 percent increase from April 2021 and the highest monthly count dating back to January 2012.

Advertisement El Cajon saw its overall homeless population increase 69 percent to 1,308, the second-highest in the county. The city’s population of people living without shelter, however, was just 185 people, a 40 percent drop from 2020. In one notable shift, the city of San Diego’s homeless population isn’t as dominant in the county as it once was. In 2020, the city’s homeless population represented 64 percent of the county’s homeless population; this year, it represents 57 percent. In that same time, the East County homeless population has grown from representing 14 percent of the county to 20 percent this year.

Rows of tents along 16th Street in downtown San Diego on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune) The report on this year’s count was discouraging, but some of the numbers do show encouraging trends, such as an 18 percent increase in people in shelters rather than on the street and a 25 percent decrease in the number of veterans experiencing homeless. “There are rays of sunshine to point to, more reasons for optimism, but at the same time I have to be extremely practical,” Gloria said, noting that rents are rising, an eviction moratorium is lifting and many people are affected by mental health issues. “That’s why we’re doing everything we can to directly address this most urgent problem,” he said.

“It’s the biggest problem in our region, and all of us have to be working on it.” Some of the results show positive as well as negative trends. The number of youths ages 18-24 living without shelter decreased by 6 percent to 266, though the number of homeless people younger than 18 rose 20 percent to 48. A push to get more young people off the street resulted in about a 50 percent increase in youths of all ages inside shelters. Advertisement On the down side, the overall number of homeless youths increased.

The 667 homeless youths age 18-24 represented a 20 percent increase and the 1,175 youths younger than 18 was a 50 percent increase. This year’s numbers reverse a positive trend from the 2020 report, which saw a 6 percent decrease from the 2019 count of 8,102 homeless people. Despite the increase, however, this year’s number is still lower than several from recent years, with the homeless population of 2013 reaching 10,013, including 5,642 people living without shelter. The count results always come with the caveat that it is not a precise science. While the tally of people in shelters is a simple head count, finding people elsewhere is more challenging for the teams of volunteers who scour the county with flashlights and questionnaires in pre-dawn hours.

“We’re going to miss individuals,” Kohler said. “We’re not going to catch every person in a car, canyon and out-of-the-way place. And we shouldn’t represent this as finite and absolute because that’s just not realistic.” Numbers can be skewed simply because of bad weather, such as the morning of Feb. 24, which was drizzly with near-freezing temperatures.

Kohler said the weather might have motivated people on the street to pool their money and share hotel rooms, resulting in a lowered count. The raw data also can be perplexing without context, such as in the city of San Diego, where the population of people living without shelter jumped 9 percent while the overall homeless population (both sheltered and unsheltered) dipped 1 percent. Kohler said the explanation can be found in an 11 percent decrease in the number of people in shelters, which offset the increase of people living outdoors. The shelter population dropped in part because the count was taken the same week people were moving directly from shelters into the newly opened 407-unit St. Teresa of Calcutta housing project built by Father Joe’s Villages.

While she admits the results are not perfect, Kohler said the count’s methodology has improved over the years, and San Diego does a good job. Advertisement One of the changes in recent years is the addition of a questionnaire that captures relevant demographic information on the homeless population, helping policy makers identify where resources should be directed. Gloria said past counts have helped identify trends, leading to help for specific populations. Women and girls represented 25 percent of people living without shelter and 43 percent of people living in shelters, and the city has responded with a plan to open a 40-bed shelter, he said. The demographics also revealed that 13 percent of people self-identified as having a serious mental illness that included a level of hospitalization or clinical care.

An additional 18 percent said they had a mental health disorder that was not considered clinical, meaning 31 percent had some sort of mental issue. The count revealed other health issues, with 9 percent saying they had a substance use disorder, 33 percent saying they had a physical, substance use, mental health developmental or chronic condition and 12 percent saying they had a long-term physical condition. “We are observing this information and acting,” Gloria said. Recent actions have included the opening of a 44-bed shelter on Sports Arena Boulevard that will focus on people with addictions and mental problems, he said. The 125-bed shelter that will open on Rosecrans Street this year will be staffed with mental health providers, and a 22-bed safe-haven shelter also planned to open soon will help people with addictions.

The demographic information in the count can identify disturbing trends, such as this year’s increase in homeless families living without shelter. The count found 32 households on the street, a 113 percent increase from the 15 counted in 2020. The households included 90 individual family members this year, up from 52 in 2020. The number of families in shelters also increased significantly. The count found 563 households in shelters, a 54 percent increase from 2020.

The households represented 1,840 people, a 58 percent from 2020. The overall increase in people living outdoors included veterans, with the count finding 378 vets without shelter, up 15 percent increase from 2020. The increase, however, was offset by about 200 veterans who moved from shelters into permanent housing, resulting in an overall 25 percent decrease in homeless veterans, Kohler said. Advertisement The significant drop in the shelter population was a result of the task force working with Veterans Village of San Diego to find homes for vets who were staying at the temporary shelter in the San Diego Convention Center at the height of the pandemic, she said. People considered chronically homeless make up 15 percent of the population living without shelter and 18 percent in shelters.

In all, there were 1,414 chronically homeless people, with 632 on the street. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which requires the count to be eligible for federal funding for homeless programs, defines chronically homeless as someone who has been homeless for at least 12 months or on at least four separate occasions in the last three years. About 25 percent of homeless people overall were 55 or older, with 57 percent having a physical disability and 47 percent experiencing homelessness for the first time.

Kohler said the oldest person found living without shelter was 87 years old. “We can’t be OK with that,” she said, adding that the Regional Task Force on Homelessness is working on ways to address the aging older homeless population. Demographics in the report found Black people are over-represented in the homeless population, as they make up about 6 percent of the county but 26 percent of the homeless population. The report also found that 85 percent of homeless people said they became homeless in San Diego. The question is not required by HUD, but Kohler said it’s asked to dispel what she called an ongoing myth that the local population includes many people who were homeless when they came to San Diego.

Besides addressing the misinformation, Kohler said the data helps inform cities that are considering opening their own shelters. Homeless people often stay in the same communities where they lived when they became homeless, and providing shelter and services in their area will help them stabilize, she said. The task force will release a full report on the count results later this year. .