The San Diego City Council has reached its limit with California’s Democrat leadership and banned homeless encampments on public property.
On June 13, the council voted 5-4 in favor of the ban after hearing hours of public testimony.
Councilman Joe LaCava said: “The magic bullet to solve homelessness will always be housing.
“Short of that, any individual action will not succeed in a vacuum.
“That is why, through our fiscal 2024 budget investments — new shelters, eviction protections, outreach, rental assistance — and thoughtful, strategic implementation of this ordinance, we will ultimately connect people to the resources and housing they need.
“The ability for this ordinance to reduce homelessness relies on its implementation. Our current encampment laws and shelter processes are convoluted and hard for anyone to follow.”
Council member Marni von Wilpert said:
“I don’t have a problem with people living on our street, but I do have a problem with people dying on our street.”
Council member Raul Campillo said: “We didn’t come here to solve homelessness with one vote.
“We came here today on a proposed ordinance that aims to reduce the impact of problematic conduct that many levels of government have failed to solve or, worse yet, have exacerbated.”
Hanan Scrapper, regional director for People Assisting the Homeless San Diego, said:
“We agree with Mayor Gloria and the council that encampments are not an acceptable way for any human being to live.
“But an anti-camping ordinance will not lead to the outcomes we all want to see.
“Such an ordinance will only further disperse the problem around the city and region and make the jobs of homeless service providers like PATH much more difficult.”
Dave Rodger of Filippi’s Pizza Grotto said:
“We have homeless people coming into our restaurant taking food off people’s plates.
“It’s out of control.”
Greg Newman, a downtown resident said:
“We should be able to enjoy the city as much as homeless people do.”
According to The La Jolla Light:
The ordinance would prohibit encampments on public property, and people could be cited or arrested if they refuse an available shelter bed.
The ordinance was written to be in accord with a federal court ruling in Martin v. Boise that prohibits a person from being cited for sleeping outside if no shelter beds are available.
But in one of the more controversial aspects of the ordinance, encampments would be banned in many areas because of public safety concerns, even if no shelter beds are available.
That ban would be in place two blocks from existing shelters or schools and in all city parks, riverbeds, waterways, trolley stops and transportation hubs.
Encampment bans in those areas also would not follow a settlement the city agreed to years ago that allows people to sleep in public areas from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Under the ordinance, camping in areas seen as a public safety issue would be prohibited around the clock.