SAN DIEGO — A new downtown San Diego homeless count shows a dip in the number of unhoused people for February.
However, several factors come into play for the decrease such as weather. Some argue the numbers are too early to tell if the numbers are improving.
“You can’t make a whole lot of anything whether goes up or down in one month. So you want to look at trends over a period of time,” said Michael McConnell, a homeless advocate.
The number of unhoused people in Downtown San Diego is going backward after a steady increase over the past six months.
The count done by the Downtown San Diego Partnership shows 102 fewer people in tents, on sidewalks and in cars on the night of February 23.
This comes at a time of cold, rainy weather. McConnell said people will seek out dry spots, possibly outside of downtown, inclement weather shelters or underpasses.
“The count will fluctuate, and it doesn’t mean a whole lot you have to look at least a few month’s worth of trends and that is what will make a difference,” McConnell said.
McConnell said with eviction moratoriums ended, plus inflation, fast housing is the best step.
“And that takes a strategic coordinated effort that is not happening in the city of San Diego or in the region for that matter,” McConnell said. “I’m still seeing a lot of new faces on the street.”
“We have to and will do much more, but we can’t say it’s not worth investing in this problem simply because it’s been growing for decades,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria during a press briefing this week.
Mayor Gloria addressed the topic in San Diego and in Sacramento. Gloria said he went to Sacramento this week to try and urge state legislators to increase funding and to continue city programs that have helped with permanent housing.
Gloria said he also wants to keep the funding flexible to tailor it to individual needs.
“The state budget should demonstrate the commitment to meeting the enormity of this challenge,” Gloria said.