Efforts to Fix Our Homeless Problem Are Stuck. Here's Why.

We see it everywhere and the problem is getting worse. The homeless crisis is exploding in California. It’s gotten much worse on Governor Gavin Newsom‘s watch, adding more heat to his recall election. 

But he’s not alone when it comes to politicians making it too easy for people who want to enjoy California’s benefits. San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria has been joining the chorus of politicians thinking the only solution is free housing, rather than more targeted enforcement. Of course taxpayers, who are trying to stay in their own homes because of the Covid economy and high cost of living in California, foot the bill for all of these new promises.

Game Show Gavin has also contributed to the problem by releasing thousands of prisoners for either Covid reasons or to alleviate crowding in prisons due to federal laws, dumping more people on the streets. 

Monday in San Diego there were a couple of fires along roadways started by camping “urban outdoorsmen” as I often call them, among the trees and brush along side San Diego freeways. 

Seems we hear it so often that we’re getting used to daily computer reports that include regular traffic alerts, identifying where there’s freeway slowing and alternative routes, and now what are commonly referred to as “encampment fires“. As if it’s just a vacation outing at a drive-in resort. In fact, more creative members of the street community are now driving in their dilapidated campers and cars (that often sit around town on residential streets overnight) pulling into these areas for additional illegal activity.  

Former mayor Kevin Faulconer, who is running for Governor in the recall, is making a big push now highlighting the fact that he didn’t “allow camping on city sidewalks”. But they moved into the trees on the bushes and places like Balboa Park … and all over town. Now it is worse on the streets again because Mayor Gloria won’t enforce such urban camping after 10 PM until morning. The same kind of thing is happening in varying degrees outside of San Diego around the county. 

This is a semantic dance that doesn’t do anything to keep the problem from expanding even more. The San Diego region has some wonderful programs to assist those men women and children who desperately need help. Everyone has compassion for truly hard luck cases with people who just want assistance to get their lives back on track. But then there are large numbers of people who want nothing to do with the programs… or looking for jobs … but are content just living in one of the most weather-perfect areas of the country, California is now chock-full of all sorts of freebies in exchange for simply being here. 

Until California dis-incentivizes benefits for people to come to our state and camp out anywhere they please, in greater numbers, The problem will only get worse. 

Politicians need to realize that if this is left the way it is, it is a huge public health crisis of its own. 

But for now, they’re making it worse. 

Photo: Getty Images

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