The opening of the new storage center for homeless people to use to store their belongings has re-opened the debate over one of San Diego’s most troubling issues.
Starting this week, the warehouse style building at 20th and Commercial east of the 5 will be used by up to 500 homeless people as a place where they can store the things they have that they now keep in shopping carts or in makeshift tents along sidewalks or in parks.
The goal is to clear areas in the East Village and downtown of filled up carts and lean-to tents and the like.
But it’s also designed to give people who are homeless a secure place to store their things to give them time and opportunity to seek jobs or training or counseling without worrying about someone stealing the only things they have.
And with a new ordinance taking effect on July 1st that gives the homeless just three hours to remove their things from sidewalks during the day, there is even more of a need for the storage center.
But the people who live in the Sherman Heights neighborhood where the storage warehouse is located, including a Catholic school, are not happy, many of them saying they’re worried about homeless people congregating in their neighborhood and about possible thefts and robberies.
And all of this has reminded us again that while the city has made progress since last year with three new homeless shelters now open and more money being spent on homeless services, solving one of San Diego’s most difficult problems to solve is going to take a lot more time and a lot more action.
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