What happens now after the failure of the hotel tax measure to make it on the November ballot?
It may have gotten most attention because, if passed, it would have meant an expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, but among the most upset over what happened were those who involved in working on reducing the number of people who are homeless.
The president and CEO at Father Joe’s Villages expressed the sentiments of other homeless advocates when he told the San Diego Union Tribune, “As I got the news, it just broke my heart."
Deacon Jim Vargas knows a lot of about people who are homeless and who wakes up every day with the goal of being able to help get people off the streets and into temporary shelters or permanent housing.
And he knows what millions of dollars could mean to helping reduce the homeless problem in San Diego. He knows that while most everyone agrees the homeless problem is a big problem in the city, now without voters having a chance to vote on the hotel tax proposal that would have meant money to help solve the problem, the problem is going to be even harder to solve.
The good news is that the people in San Diego like Deacon Vargas at Father Joe’s Villages and Bob McElroy at the Alpha Project are determined to find ways to solve the homeless problem. Because they and their organizations work at it every day, helping people who are homeless one by one.
The hotel tax measure may not be the answer, but San Diego government and community leaders have to find one that most people will support.
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