Morning Report: Tents are the face of the homeless. Are they also the way out?

We all know that homeless tent tents in San Diego are growing. What’s new is that we’re finally starting to talk about tents and what they mean, writes Scott Lewis.

For many people who are not housed, tents bring a sense of security, community and respect. That is why many choose a tent over a shelter.

“It turns out that unoccupied tenants are very similar to people who own homes. They want privacy. However, they want to be close to the community. They love pets. They like to be with loved ones. And yes, some like to do drugs or drink. However, All of these things can be limited or difficult in a community environment, “as a shelter, Lewis writes.

Mayor Todd Gloria also recently admitted that some homeless residents prefer outdoor tents over shelters. But even though Gloria knows that some residents do not like shelters, the shelters will remain part of the city’s strategy for dealing with the homeless.

This is because they indirectly provide municipal officials with enforcement tools. When there are shelter beds open in the city, officials can oblige homeless residents to lift the tent and move on.

Gloria and other city officials also argued that tent camps could pose risks to public health. They often indicate a devastating hepatitis A outbreak in 2017 and a smaller outbreak An eruption that will be discovered in 2021 – and the need to prevent future health crises related to sanitation issues that disproportionately affect people living on the streets.

But it’s clear that San Diego’s homeless strategy is not working, Lewis claims.

“Sometimes when you fight something, you have to channel its energy instead of continuing to try to destroy it,” he writes. “The personal tents are not good. But they represent a human desire to take care of themselves and build a community. The tents show not a desire to be on the street but a very human desire to build a house.”

Read more from Scott Lewis of the San Diego Voice here.

The court says the city violated homeless rights

The San Diego District Court of Appeals Department on Wednesday upheld a judge’s decision to drop a case involving a man charged with overnight camping in Balboa Park. Meanwhile, she concluded that the San Diego City Attorney’s Office violated Matthew’s constitutional rights prohibiting him from removing himself from the discovery process.

In 2019, the prohibition’s attorney general, Colin Cusack, asked the city attorney for the relevant evidence, but prosecutors referred it to the San Diego Police Department. The police, in turn, produced only some of the evidence to which Kiosk was entitled and told her to ask the rest of the plaintiffs.

The City Attorney’s Office under the leadership of Mara Elliott stopped supervising requests for evidence in violation cases years ago. Her office said the decision was made thanks in part to cost-benefit analysis, citing an explosion in tickets. City prosecutors said they are following the district attorney and working for the public interest.

After the trial court dismissed the banner’s case, Elliott’s office appealed. On Wednesday, the Court of Appeals rejected the municipality’s contention that, because the offenses are less serious and more numerous, prosecutors can break the established laws that ensure defendants receive evidence that may clear their name.

As Jesse Marx wrote last year, the San Diego hands-on approach is effectively turning police into prosecutors and making it difficult for defendants to get a fair trial.

Cusack, who had worked for years on the Prohibitor’s case, was enthusiastic about the ruling. She started a thread on Twitter with “justification.”

Escondido residents want more climatic activity

Escondido leaders are once again debating whether to consider implementing additional climatic actions. At the last meeting, one councilor said that further climate action is not a priority, especially because the city is facing a huge budget crisis.

However, some residents and environmental groups claim the city can do more in a budget-friendly way, Tigist Layne writes in the Northern District’s latest report.

Escondido has taken steps in climate action such as joining the Clean Energy Alliance, implementing an organic waste recycling program and replacing more than 1,000 streetlights with cost-effective LED lights.

But residents and advocacy groups are facing a lack of smaller efforts such as planting more trees, setting up a climate committee and reducing disposable plastic – things that would be economically feasible for the city.

Click here to read more about climate action efforts in the Northern District.

In other news

This morning’s report was written by Will Huntsbury, Jesse Marks and Tigist Lane. It was edited by Megan Wood.

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