Use Qualcomm Stadium Parking Lot as SafePark-Camp for Victims of SD's Housing Disaster
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San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer touts the 640 of 3000 miles of City street repaired during his 32 months in office. Good for you, Mr. Mayor, this shows you can accomplish something when you set your mind to it.
NEXT UP: Get people made homeless by the past 6 years' replacement of 10,000 units of affordable housing by market-rate housing, vacation rentals, hotels, offices and retail OFF THESE STREETS.
Now that the Chargers have announced they are moving to L.A. -- YOU can make that GARGANTUAN parking lot at City-owned Qualcomm Stadium into a network of SafePark (people sleeping in their vehicles), Tiny Shelter/SafeCamp Villages with porta-potties, mobile showers, camp kitchens. as well as caseworkers to support people getting the services and help they need. The Qualcomm Trolley Station makes using public transit easy, so give SafePark-Camp residents free Trolley/Bus passes to help them get to job interviews/jobs, medical appointments, and other places they need to visit in order to make progress out of homelessness.
We have a blueprint from Seattle, where they have been doing this since 2015: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39037-tiny-houses-are-a-big-help-for-homeless-people-in-seattle
Qualcomm was used to shelter 20,000 homeless victims of the 2007 wildfires ... very relevant to those made homeless by the destruction of 10,000 units of affordable housing in the past 6 years:
"The Wildfires of 2007 affected nearly everyone in San Diego County in some way. Qualcomm stadium was opened by the City of San Diego and took in thousands of people affected by the firestorm, either directly or indirectly. No person was denied access or services and few questions were asked of the people coming to seek shelter.
"The safety and security of the people who seek the City’s protection is our Number One priority. This is for all people seeking protection from the firestorm, irrespective of unknown or questionable residential, immigration or other status. Everyone had the opportunity to be safe." (https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/legacy/fire/pdf/witch_aar.pdf -- p.27)
We have a huge military presence here, which can help to mobilize this, as they do in responding to other disasters leaving 1000s of people homeless.
We have the Red Cross and International Relief Team among others here, experienced in the same.
SDSU is just down the Trolley line, with USD not far in the other direction. There are lots of students there who could be provided with great learning opportunities relative to majors like Social Work, Nursing, Public Health, Psychology...
IF there are any other events booked there in coming year, they can be moved to another of several similar-sized venues -- and the cost to do so will be a pittance compared to the cost of leaving people on our sidewalks.
Mayor Faulconer, YOU can do this more quickly, cost-effectively and SAFELY than large, institutional Shelters by leveraging programs already tried and proven to work:
Work with nonprofits like Dreams for Change to sanction and support SafePark lots for people to sleep in their vehicles, use portable hygiene facilities and a camp kitchen, and work with case managers to get the help they need to get into safe, permanent housing. http://www.dreamsforchange.org/the-safe-parking-program/
Work with nonprofits like Amikas to sanction and support Tiny Shelter Villages in vacant lots and vacant parking areas (next to empty buildings) for people to sleep and store their belongings safely behind a locked door. And use portable hygiene facilities and a camp kitchen, and work with case managers to get the help they need to get into safe, permanent housing. http://www.amikas.org/tiny-shelters
The Tiny Village concept could work for SafeCamps with tents in fenced areas, too. Both are being done successfully in Seattle -- with 3 more camps to be added this year.
Mayor Faulconer, YOU have the power to make this common sense HUMANITARIAN EMERGENCY RESPONSE happen, while permanent housing is found and developed. You will have the support of MANY San Diegans in so doing! Please ACT DECISIVELY and AUTHORITATIVELY. Thousands of people's lives depend on you so doing.
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