The new regulation will ban camps for the homeless on the streets of San Diego.
Homelessness in San Diego can result in a fine.
San Diego City Council member Stephen Whitburn has proposed a new ordinance banning homeless camps on public property if there is room in the shelters.
It will also prevent people from camping in places like parks, transfer stations, or near schools, whether there are beds or not.
“We have heard too many stories about people on the streets who were randomly attacked, stabbed, even set on fire, and there were threats to our neighborhoods,” Whitburn said.
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria also supported the plan.
Project Alpha, which provides shelter and outreach to the homeless, hopes the ruling will make it easier to get homeless people off the streets.
Chad Brewer used to be homeless but now works for the Alpha Project.
He believes that this ruling can encourage clients to change their lives for the better, and he understands this.
“When I started to change clothes, it was forced, for example, by the parole department and other authority figures, and finally it happened,” Brewer said. “But I had to be exposed to it over and over again to get it to do anything. It’s like having a parent who holds the line and keeps his family on the same level. It is the same.”
Mary Serrati has been living at the Alpha Project shelter on Newton Avenue for more than two years and finds it too dangerous to sleep outside.
“I saw three deaths in about a month, one here, a couple there, and that’s because they are on the streets and they don’t want to follow the rules, so something needs to be done about them,” Serrati explained.
Homeless advocate Michael McConnell agrees that no one should sleep on the street. But he worries there aren’t enough beds to keep up with the demand.
“All you have to do is look at the number of shelter beds and the number of homeless people, and you will realize that there are no beds,” he said. “And then for people like me, who are on the street, who see people lined up in the morning two hours before the opening of the homeless assistance center, it is obvious that there are a lot more people who want shelter than there are places available. ”
The city council will have to approve the ordinance and may vote on it next month.
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