The City Council’s Select Committee on Homelessness Monday directed city staff to flesh out measures that can be taken relatively quickly to ease the problem of people living on San Diego’s streets.
The “menu of options” presented by committee Chairman Chris Ward includes establishing temporary housing at Golden Hall in the Civic Center complex and the Qualcomm Stadium practice field, expanding outreach efforts and creating more places where people who live in their cars can spend the night.
“I think all things are on the table,” Councilman Chris Cate said.
In January’s annual tally of the area’s transient population, 5,619 homeless individuals were counted in the city of San Diego, a 10.3 percent increase from last year. Of those, 3,231 were living on the streets, and hundreds lived in vehicles.
Ward’s proposals were conceptual in nature, so his office will work with various city departments to develop more details, including an idea of how much everything will cost.
The results are scheduled to be returned to the committee in September.
“Some of the material within this item is really designed to be able to provide things that are admittedly temporary in nature,” Ward said. “We hope that as we’re able to provide additional housing opportunities, some may be years down the road when those come online, that we’ll be able to scale back some of the need for immediate resources — that’s certainly the intent here.”
Ward also suggested that the city provide more facilities for the homeless to store their belongings while they seek work or obtain social services. A current facility has reached capacity, he said.
—City News Service
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