SAN DIEGO — People who live in Rolando are saying enough is enough as their homeless population continues to grow. We've been working for you as San Diego figures out how to tackle our homelessness issue.
El Cajon Blvd in Rolando is just one of the areas across the city that's been dealing with the growing crisis. As San Diego figures out how to solve its homeless crisis, folks who live along El Cajon Blvd say the problem is only getting worse.
Daniel lives nearby and said, "We keep getting promises that we're going to get help around here but it keeps getting worse and worse." Daniel didn’t want to reveal his identity because he says some of the people living on the street in this area can be pretty aggressive.
CBS 8 is working for you on this story and we saw this first hand when we went to see the issue for ourselves with one man running at us Friday afternoon along El Cajon Boulevard. Daniel says he's sent more than 1,600 Get It Done requests to the City of San Diego to get help and in his opinion, nothing has been solved. That's when he emailed CBS 8 for help.
Daniel shared his frustration saying, "We just don't have a voice. It's all about protecting the homeless and making sure they have rights. What about the residents here? What about our mental health when we walk down the street and just see every day that it's not getting better, it's getting worse. We try to walk the neighborhood. We try to get out of our cars and walk the neighborhood but who wants to walk through all of this?"
The latest count in San Diego found that homelessness has grown by at least 10% since 2020 with at least more than 8400 homeless individuals. Daniel says he's losing hope. "This guy was taking over the whole sidewalk, his stuff is all over the sidewalk, he's yelling about all these war aggressions and we had to get off the sidewalk and into El Cajon Blvd and around him just to feel safe."
In an exclusive interview with CBS 8 on May 19th, Mayor Todd Gloria said that one problem San Diego faces when it comes to fixing our homeless issue is that the count is done at a time when some homeless individuals find temporary relief. "We are showing thousands of people not on the streets every night because of our shelter beds. We're showing hundreds of people transitioning from those shelter beds into housing, but it's still not enough."
Daniel says something has got to give. "I don't know what the solution is. I really don't. I just know that the multiple programs that we have been told will help, are not helping."
We reached out to the City of San Diego on this story. The Mayor’s Office sent us this statement:
“Mayor Gloria is doing more to address homelessness in San Diego than any other Mayor in city history. Since taking office, he has expanded the capacity of our homeless shelters by 25%, which means every single night over 1,000 people experiencing homelessness are not sleeping on the street. He has also boosted the City’s outreach programs to contact homeless individuals and get them into shelters. Importantly, since last summer, the City, along with our homeless service providers, have been able to secure permanent housing for more than 600 individuals who were in our shelter system.
The Mayor is working constantly to expand access to housing, shelter and services for people experiencing homelessness – and fully understands the magnitude of the homelessness crisis in San Diego and shares the frustration residents are expressing. Nevertheless, he is committed to doing the work to get folks off the street, connected to services, and ultimately, permanently housed.”
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