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Search for Shelter Site Begins and Ends on Newton Avenue

Although the winter homeless shelter in Logan Heights was closed just a few months ago, the debate about where to place it this year is already heating up.

On April 27, councilmembers on the Land Use and Housing Commission debated the recommendations from San Diego's Housing Commission to place the shelter on a cul-de-sac in Barrio Logan, near the shelter's previous location on Newton Avenue.

Once again, the representative from Logan Heights opposes putting the shelter in the community.

Similar objections were heard last year, when former District 8 representative Ben Hueso claimed the shelter and its inhabitants posed a threat to students at nearby Perkins Elementary.

Now it is Barrio Logan's new representative, David Alvarez, who is opposing the Newton Avenue site.

"There seems to be some other potential locations available," said Alvarez.

Alvarez objected to the location despite reports of lower crime rate when the winter shelter was open.

"Basically, our calls for service during the five-month period when the winter shelter was open was about 95 radio calls less than last year," said San Diego Police Lieutenant Roy Moody. "Overall, crime rate was down."

As for the concerns regarding the shelters proximity to Perkins Elementary, Bob McElroy, president of the Alpha Project, said, "The greatest compliment that I've had in 25 years was when Principal [Fernando] Hernandez said that he would love to have us back. Pretty cool."

Councilmembers later moved the proposal on to the full city council, despite Alvarez' concerns.

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Although the winter homeless shelter in Logan Heights was closed just a few months ago, the debate about where to place it this year is already heating up.

On April 27, councilmembers on the Land Use and Housing Commission debated the recommendations from San Diego's Housing Commission to place the shelter on a cul-de-sac in Barrio Logan, near the shelter's previous location on Newton Avenue.

Once again, the representative from Logan Heights opposes putting the shelter in the community.

Similar objections were heard last year, when former District 8 representative Ben Hueso claimed the shelter and its inhabitants posed a threat to students at nearby Perkins Elementary.

Now it is Barrio Logan's new representative, David Alvarez, who is opposing the Newton Avenue site.

"There seems to be some other potential locations available," said Alvarez.

Alvarez objected to the location despite reports of lower crime rate when the winter shelter was open.

"Basically, our calls for service during the five-month period when the winter shelter was open was about 95 radio calls less than last year," said San Diego Police Lieutenant Roy Moody. "Overall, crime rate was down."

As for the concerns regarding the shelters proximity to Perkins Elementary, Bob McElroy, president of the Alpha Project, said, "The greatest compliment that I've had in 25 years was when Principal [Fernando] Hernandez said that he would love to have us back. Pretty cool."

Councilmembers later moved the proposal on to the full city council, despite Alvarez' concerns.

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Comments
3

Two years ago when I arrived in San Diego, La Jolla to be exact, that's where I was dropped off by the guy who gave me a ride from El Centro, I wound up at the Big Tent. They gave me a blanket and although I was too late to get a bed, they treated me with respect. I felt safe under the watchful eye of the Alpha Project volunteers.

I do not understand, this idea, that Homeless people are a danger to children. There are many homeless children. Is it reasonable to assume that homeless children should not go to school because they are a danger to the children who are not homeless? Of course not. Perhaps the fear is that sex offenders, in an effort to avoid detection, have mixed themselves into the homeless population. That, I believe is a reasonable assumption.

I am experiencing some outrage right now. We continue to punish a population of human beings based on the bad behavior of a few.

It happens with alcoholics, the disabled, the mentally ill, drug abusers, ex-cons, and yes, sex offenders. Whoever represents the lowest common denominator sets the bar that the rest of us have to overcome. We not only have to carry the stigma of our mistakes and illnesses, we have to carry the stigma of every mistake made by every human labeled as a drain on the economy.

The poor are not a drain on the economy. The poor are the people who give all they have everyday just to survive.

April 28, 2011

There are many homeless children.

KCET PBS has a 30 or 60 minute segment called "Motel Children" and is is a documentary on homelss children and it is hertbreaking.

They did a really good segment on a woman who works as a mentor to teenage girls-Brandi Stone, and the weirdest thing happened, this mentor brandi and I have a mutual friend and when I saw her I KNEW she was from the show, and she was.

Anyway, it is an awesome eye opening, and somewhat heartbreaking, documentary, "Motel Children".

. http://www.kcet.org/shows/socal_connected/socal-connected-46.html .

April 28, 2011

Crime rates do not tell the whole story. With the decrease of government-operated mental facilities, our population of mentally ill is partly absorbed into the homeless population. Sad though it is for them, their behavior is also unpredictable. The label "homeless" does not give the whole story on this population, their needs, and society's responsibility to them and for them.

April 30, 2011

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