San Diego Police orders homeless to remove tents during daylight hours

“The city is constantly refining our approach to the unsheltered community trying everything we can to get folks to accept shelter,” mentioned Mayor Todd Gloria.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego Police at the moment are ordering individuals to remove their tents from metropolis streets and sidewalks during daylight hours. 

However, as a result of there aren’t sufficient shelter beds obtainable, individuals will probably be allowed to put up their tents at evening.

Enforcement started October 3, however in accordance to town, this can be a coverage that is been used earlier than, most notably in 2017 during the lethal Hepatitis A outbreak that killed 20 individuals and sickened tons of of others.

During COVID, police paused enforcement.

“The city is constantly refining our approach to the unsheltered community, trying everything we can to get folks to accept shelter and get off the streets for good,” mentioned Mayor Todd Gloria.

“This policy of asking folks to take their tents down during the day I think is an effort to maintain cleanliness and hygiene in the community. It’s safety for both the unsheltered and for the sheltered community and the neighborhood,” Gloria added.

In lower than two years, Gloria says his administration has elevated shelter capability by 38 p.c.

According to town, the coverage to power homeless individuals to remove their tents relies on the City of San Diego’s municipal code for encroachment (part 54.0110which states: It is unlawful for any person to erect, place, allow to remain, construct, establish, plant, or maintain any vegetation or object on any public street, alley, sidewalk, highway, or other public property or public right of way, except as otherwise provided by this Code.”

Right now, SDPD is focusing its efforts on the downtown space, figuring out “hot spots” utilizing information from the “Get it Done” app.

When requested about enforcement in parks, town mentioned issues get extra sophisticated. Rather than an encroachment violation, individuals can be cited for “illegal lodging.” 

According to town, it can’t power individuals to take down their tents during the day at a park and not using a shelter mattress obtainable. 

The metropolis mentioned it believes SDPD’s enforcement of the coverage will assist forestall giant encampments from forming.

Homeless advocate Michael McConnell mentioned he disagrees.

“It’s not going to solve anything,” he mentioned. “Just moving people from one sidewalk to another, we’ve done that for the 13 years I’ve been working out here. All we see is more folks that are homeless.”

“We certainly need to keep the sidewalks as clean as possible but what the city needs to do is work with the folks that are out here on the sidewalk to try and get actually have somewhere to put trash,” added McConnell. “Number one, there are very few trash cans out here for people to put trash in. Actually, come up with some kind of balanced policy that doesn’t just make people spend their whole day moving from one place to another.”

San Diego Police launched the next assertion to CBS 8:

The San Diego Police Department will proceed to implement the City of San Diego’s Municipal Code for encroachment (part 54.0110) that states:

“It is unlawful for any person to erect, place, allow to remain, construct, establish, plant, or maintain any vegetation or object on any public street, alley, sidewalk, highway, or other public property or public right of way, except as otherwise provided by this Code.”

SDPD officers will probably be asking people violating encroachment legal guidelines to voluntarily deconstruct their tents during daylight hours. If people don’t want to comply, they might be topic to enforcement, which at all times comes with a suggestion of companies and shelter.

The City has taken this motion up to now, following the Hepatitis A outbreak. Given the latest rise in encampments throughout town and the chance they pose to well being and security, the City will resume asking people to take down their constructions. The purpose is to clear public rights of approach, guarantee no well being and security hazards can accumulate over time and finally, encourage people to settle for shelter and companies.

This motion is an extension of the Mayor’s path in early June to step up enforcement of legal guidelines towards blocking the sidewalk. Homelessness is a fluid state of affairs, and we’re at all times evaluating our directives primarily based on altering dynamics. It’s not applicable for individuals to stay on the sidewalks, particularly because the City is growing shelter alternatives

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