1,706 homeless people live in downtown San Diego, a record number
SAN DIEGO – The Downtown San Diego Partnership, which counts the number of homeless people living in downtown San Diego each month, showed a record number in November.
In downtown San Diego alone, 1,706 non-refugees are estimated to be living on the streets, in tents and in cars.
As of November 2021, there were an estimated 1,124 homeless people living in downtown San Diego. This brings the average number of homeless in 2022, so far, to 1,485, up from 961 in 2021.
The partnership also breaks down the number by location in the city center, as follows:
A representative from San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria’s office said in a statement:
“Since day one, Mayor Gloria has been steadfast in her focus on getting people off the street. The mayor has dramatically expanded the city’s homeless response system – more than any previous administration. This includes opening new homeless shelters, increasing the availability of homeless beds by 40%, and creating more places to go for people living in their cars,” said Dave Rolland, Deputy Director of Communications for the office Mayor Todd Gloria said in an emailed statement. Monday afternoon.
The mayor’s team says that “while the city manages to get people off the street and into permanent housing every day, the fact remains that more people fall into homelessness than the region’s homeless response system can serve”.
“As the Regional Task Force on the Homeless recently reported, for every 10 people we house in our county, 13 fall into homelessness due in large part to high housing costs. The mayor intends to make an announcement on policies to address this in the coming days. He remains committed to the ultimate goal of ending homelessness: a roof over the head of every San Diegan at a price they can afford.” said Roland.
Bob McElroy, president of Project Alpha, says he’s spent the last three decades getting people off the streets in San Diego.
“I’m always trying to be upbeat and positive, but wow, even some of our best efforts don’t seem like enough,” McElroy said.
McElroy says he feels like he’s swimming upstream with the shelters he operates being full and not enough services.
“My first time in 37 years feeling down and discouraged, another study just came out in San Diego that shows for every 10 people we take off the streets, 13 more people take their place,” McElroy said. “It just seems like a tide that doesn’t seem to be settling.”
McElroy said the current situation from COVID, inflation and high rent prices is a perfect storm that many people have not been able to weather, which has forced them into homelessness.
“There is a chronic need for additional retirement homes in San Diego,” said Dr. Jim Dunford with the McAllister Institute who was previously the Medical Director of San Diego Fire and Rescue and has seen the homeless problem transform into the last decades. He adds that McAllister Institute services cannot keep up with demand.
“The demand has increased, the acuity is high, fentanyl is just this tremendous vexing that we deal with all the time now,” said Dr. Dunford.
All three lawyers agree that something needs to be done, fast.
“If you want to solve homelessness, you have to get people housing and services,” McConnell said.