SAN DIEGO, CA (August 31, 2017) – Councilmember Alvarez today requested the Mayor to declare a local State of Emergency for a public health & safety crisis in the City of San Diego due to a significant number of individuals in the City whom cannot obtain shelter, which has resulted in a threat to their health and safety.
According to the 2017 Regional Task Force on the Homeless Point-in-Time Count, the number of unsheltered homeless individuals in San Diego County is 5,621, up from 4,940 in 2016, and representing a 14 percent increase, while the number of homeless persons in shelters is 3,495, down from 3,752 a year earlier. There is a need for additional shelter beds to accommodate the number of City homeless individuals in the City.
“People are dying. We must do everything we can to protect the public,” said Alvarez. “This crisis has gone on for too long.”
Additionally, the City of San Diego is currently experiencing a Hepatitis A outbreak, causing the death of 15 individuals and some 264 hospitalizations, of which 70% of those hospitalized are homeless individuals.
The City of San Diego owns property such as the former Downtown Central Library, Golden Hall, and others that could be utilized to accommodate temporary beds and facilities such as bathrooms & hand washing stations to assist with this crisis.