Grand jury report supports year-round homeless shelter in San Diego

The county grand jury, calling homelessness a “blight on our humanity,” on Monday supported a proposed year-round homeless shelter in San Diego and recommended that a regional agency oversee it and other assistance programs.

The grand jury said it studied the costs of providing emergency police, paramedic and hospital services and treatment programs to an estimated 4,000 chronically homeless people, and concluded in a 17-page report that a permanent, year-round shelter would be cheaper.

“Homelessness in San Diego County has reached the tipping point,” said Victoria Stubblefield, the grand jury foreperson. “Not only is the problem a blight on our community, it is a blight on our humanity.”

The cost of providing emergency services to the homeless, based on figures supplied by a small sampling of hospitals, police and fire agencies around the county, came to nearly $23 million in 2009, the grand jury report said. The sheriff’s and San Diego police departments provided incomplete data.

The grand jury report said 774 homeless people died on the streets of San Diego over the past 10 years.

The 2009 Regional Task Force on the Homeless counted 7,892 homeless people, excluding children, around the county. About 4,000 are considered chronically homeless, defined in part as living on the streets for more than one year.

“The (jury) understands homelessness is a complex issue further complicated by the current economic climate, returning military veterans and early release of prisoners,” Stubblefield said.

“We believe that the citizens of San Diego have the capacity and the heart to correct this problem. If the residents of San Diego County expect to have decent animal shelters, then let’s expect decent shelters for homeless people.”

The grand jury recommended creation of a city-county joint powers authority, or designation of an agency such as the San Diego Association of Governments, to develop, manage and fund programs to address chronic homelessness.

Other recommendations included:

- creating a consortium of medical, legal and social service agencies to work with the regional agency;

- keeping temporary shelters open year-round until a permanent year-round facility is built;

- sanitizing sidewalks and placing more public toilets in downtown San Diego and East Village;

- extending hours at the Neil Good Day Care Center in East Village, and adding more showers there; and

- directing San Diego police to develop and follow a policy for removing personal property of the homeless.

The last recommendation sprang from a Sept. 22, 2009, incident in which police and trash collectors destroyed personal property left outside God’s Extended Hand ministry in East Village while homeless people were attending a worship service, according to the grand jury report.

A City Council committee last month supported some aspects of a proposed 225-bed homeless shelter, medical clinic and job assistance center in downtown San Diego. Some council members objected to the Sixth Avenue location in the heart of the financial district. The issue has not gone before the full council.

Related posts:

  1. City looking for proposals for downtown homeless shelter program
  2. Volunteers to count homeless in county
  3. Grand Jury service well worth the time commitment
  4. Carlsbad shelter resident assaulted, robbed
  5. Homeless count shows increase

Short URL:

Posted by on May 17, 2010. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6



  • Look how you’ve grown! La Jolla Secret Garden tour celebrates 16 years
    The upcoming Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla, a fundraiser for the La Jolla Historical Society, has come a long way from its first venture in 1999. Event co-founder Linda Marrone said, over time, the committee came up with ways to change and improve the tour, creating the “successful” event it is today. […]
  • La Jolla Community Calendar April 17-24
    Bird Rock Elementary will hold new student registration for the 2014-2105 school year, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 23 in the Bird Rock Elementary auditorium, 5371 La Jolla Hermosa Ave. An enrollment packet can be picked up in the office in advance to be completed before the registration date. (858) 488-0537. […]
  • Thanks for the non-memories
    When I considered whether to go to my 40th high school reunion — my first reunion ever — the first thing I thought about was whether I’d have to confront my high school nemesis, Medusa (not her real name). […]