National City homeless camp to be cleared out again

Local

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. – Caltrans crews and community services will be out Tuesday for a second round of cleanup at a homeless encampment in National City.

National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis says a few hours after groups were moved out of the area near the 16th Street bridge and the I-805 on Friday, there already was a new hole cut in the fence and soon people began moving back in.

FOX 5 spoke with some of the people living there Monday, who said about 20 people have returned. Many say they do not want to go to shelters, but Sotelo-Solis says resources will be there again Tuesday.

“We will be providing outreach and again this is a follow-up on making sure that folks know this is not a very safe place to have this type of encampment,” she said.

Within the three days leading up to the first cleanup, one person accepted shelter at Alpha Project and two others were placed in a hotel.

However last Friday, Sotelo-Solis says no one else took them up on the offers.

City leaders and Caltrans were joined by the Alpha Project, National City Homeless Out Reach Team, McAlister Institute, local law enforcement and additional county resources.

Neighbors in the area have complained of theft and trespassing, while Caltrans and city leaders call the area a safety risk for both the homeless and nearby residents.

Sotelo-Solis says she’s aware this is a complex issue and wants to make sure there’s money allocated in the state and local budgets to provide longer-lasting solutions. She added that after the area is again cleaned up, she plans to get community input on what to do with the space.

“We’ll be requesting resources not only to encourage housing first, to house those individuals, but also to have those wraparound services,” she said. “You can’t just have one thing and a cleanup (and) that’s it.”

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