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County supervisor says region will work together to address El Cajon homeless encampment

Between February and March, more tents have shown up at the Magnolia Avenue homeless encampment.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego County Supervisor Joel Anderson said East County cities need to work with the county on addressing the issue of homelessness. 

During a news conference Friday, Supervisor Anderson said he's working on getting Santee, Lakeside, and Lemon Grove to sign onto a memorandum of understanding (MOU). 

He said El Cajon has already signed it.

"Homelessness can’t be solved, in my opinion, by the county going it alone or the City of El Cajon going it alone or any other community going it alone. For far too long we’ve been pushing the homeless down the street instead of off the street," said Supervisor Anderson.

He says for the past couple of months they've been sending outreach teams to the Magnolia Avenue encampment daily. Teams offer assistance and try to get people into shelters.

According to Anderson, a total of 48 people accepted help and are now in temporary housing.

Residents and people who work nearby attended the news conference and made it clear they're fed up with the crime they say happens in the encampment.

Undersheriff Kelly Martinez told reporters homelessness is the number one issue she hears about from residents.

Supervisor Anderson says they're adding a homeless shelter in Lakeside and increasing mental health services in El Cajon.

"We still have a long way to go. This is not acceptable, but we’re making progress, progress that we hadn’t been making in the past," said Anderson.

WATCH RELATED: Downtown San Diego residents say homeless problem keeps getting worse (April 2022)

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