SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An adviser to Mayor Kevin Faulconer said Councilman David Alvarez's call Thursday for a declaration of a state of emergency in San Diego due to a shortage of homeless shelters and an associated health crisis is not needed.
"Mayor Faulconer declared a state of emergency on homelessness last year that was approved by the City Council, including Councilmember Alvarez," Jonathan Herrera, Faulconer's senior adviser on homelessness coordination, told City News Service.
"The City Charter explicitly states in section 295(e) that the City Council must approve emergency measures with at least six votes. We received Councilmember Alvarez's memo earlier today and while we appreciate his concerns, we are already taking steps to address our city's homelessness crisis to protect the most vulnerable people in our city.
Alvarez's proposal included suggesting opening the former Central Library or Golden Hall for use as a homeless shelter. The library building at Eighth Avenue and E Street has been vacant since a replacement opened in the East Village nearly four years ago.
While the number of homeless people has swelled over the past few years, those living on the streets have also had to deal with an outbreak of hepatitis A that has killed 15 and sent more than 260 to hospitals.
The illness has primarily impacted the homeless and intravenous drug users, according to health officials.
"People are dying," Alvarez wrote in a memo to the mayor.
"We must do everything we can to protect the public," said Alvarez, whose district includes Barrio Logan and south San Diego neighborhoods. "This crisis has gone on for too long. I urge you to take immediate action."
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.
City and county officials have responded over the past few months with a series of proposals on how to address both homelessness and a lack of affordable housing.
Also, Padres co-owner Peter Seidler and restaurateur Dan Shea recently suggested erecting industrial-size tents to provide shelter to the homeless. Numerous civic and political leaders have signed on to their plan.
Five people were injured in a three-car crash in the Rolando area on Sunday after an apparent road-rage incident. It happened about 1:30 p.m. on University Avenue at College Avenue, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
Another successful Comic-Con is in the books. The four-day pop culture convention came to an end Sunday, but even in its final hours was packed with things to see and do.
Vince Velasquez allowed two hits over seven innings and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the San Diego Padres 5-0 Sunday for a doubleheader split.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for San Diego County inland valleys, mountains, and deserts. The warning is valid for Monday morning through Thursday evening
A man stole a brand-new luxury car out of a Kearny Mesa dealership's lot and led police on a lengthy chase down San Diego freeways on Sunday.
San Diego Comic-Con is in full swing and so is the superhero-themed fashion! Celebrities like Sarah Paulson, Sonequa Martin-Green and Camila Mendes, among many other stylish ladies, rocked a bevy of leather, nylon and pleather to attend the annual comic book convention.
Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding a man who died Saturday morning on a sidewalk in Old Town.
A suspected drunk driver was shot by sheriff's deputies after leading them on a pursuit across North County freeways Friday night, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said.