Oct 6, 2017
San Diego's homeless crisis isn't new. Swift action directed at addressing the homeless crisis, though — that is new.
For a long time, there was a lot of talk about solving homelessness by our elected leaders, but not a lot of action.
Committees were formed, speeches were made, plans were proposed. But then came hepatitis A — in particular, the revelation that officials were fumbling with bureaucracy as people were dying — and things changed. Local leaders have deployed hand-washing stations and placed public bathrooms across the city, there are solid plans to open a city-run homeless camp in Golden Hill and three temporary tents are coming online soon.
On this week's podcast, Voice of San Diego's Sara Libby, Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts talk about how the urgency to address San Diego's homelessness crisis should have come well before the hep A outbreak forced elected leaders' hands.
"Hepatitis A did what nothing else could do over the last several years," Lewis said.
Also on the podcast, the VOSD crew breaks down the legal issues surrounding a leaked SoccerCity memo after Councilman Chris Cate admitted to being the culprit earlier this week.
The hero this week is Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, who opened up about her mother's struggles with homelessness and mental illness, and how the experience has shaped her policy-making.
Our goat this week goes out to San Diego County government. Rather than keeping its nice, new Waterfront Park bathrooms open for 24 hours in the midst of the hepatitis A outbreak, the county instead decided to install a port-a-potty right next to the bathrooms.