Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

What's being done about homelessness

Supervisor Jim Desmond

5th District

Pollsters at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies asked nearly 8,500 California voters, including 872 San Diegans, to choose two leading concerns they would like state leaders to address. The top two statewide concerns were housing affordability and homelessness.

Whenever I meet with groups or people in our community, the most frequently asked question I receive is, 'What is being done about homelessness?' With nearly 50% of the homeless population living in California clearly, there's a problem.

It's a complicated issue that isn't helped by government bureaucracy as law enforcement cannot take someone off the street and provide them help if they refuse.

Rather than focus on what we can't do, I've been focused on areas we can help, including mental health. A large portion of our homeless population suffers from mental health issues, which is only exacerbated by living on the street, which many then cope with by using drugs and alcohol.

Just a few years ago, we didn't have a place for law enforcement or family members to take someone who was suffering from a mental health crisis. So, we've opened up three places in North County for anyone suffering from a mental health crisis to receive treatment.

These are known as Crisis Stabilization Units and it's basically a mental health emergency room.

Three North County locations:

Escondido: 2185 Citracado Parkway, Escondido, CA 92029

Vista: 524 W. Vista Way, Vista, CA 92083

Oceanside: 1701 Mission Ave., Oceanside, CA 92058

We've also made major strides in North County by providing affordable housing units. Over 500 units in the past few years have been built. We are currently looking at affordable housing for seniors in Escondido at the old hospital site. Seniors on fixed incomes are suffering dearly due to inflation and the high cost of living. We want to make sure they don't end up on the streets.

A lot is being done when it comes to homelessness, even though changes may not be happening overnight. There are many success stories out there and for those who want help, there are resources out there!


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