EL CAJON, Calif. – The mayor of El Cajon is voicing his concerns about a county voucher program to get people experiencing homelessness off the streets.
On Friday, Mayor Bill Wells met with hotel and motel managers to work out some of the issues that are stemming from the voucher program. City officials have recently raised awareness to the increase in police activity at voucher hotels, complaining felons and drug dealers have infiltrated the program causing issues in the hotels accepting the homeless vouchers.
“This voucher program, which we knew was in existence, but we didn’t know how much it was being used in El Cajon,” said Mayor Wells. “45 percent of the entire voucher program was being carried out in El Cajon.”
Mayor Wells is not against the program and said it will continue, however he is asking the county to find a equitable solution to help with the concentration of the voucher program in his city.
“We will certainly do our part, but shouldn’t everybody be part of this program?,” asked Mayor Wells. “Shouldn’t Solana Beach and Encinitas and all the other municipalities?”
Some of the recipients say the program has been a god send, especially during the recent heatwaves. One woman, who declined to be identified, told Fox 5 the voucher program saved her husband’s life after he was struggling with heat related exhaustion after their camper reached extreme temperatures. The program allowed the couple to get to a hotel where he was able to use the air conditioning.
Another recipient of the program mentioned the program should be implemented nationwide.
A city council meeting on these issues has been set for Tuesday.