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La Mesa proposes alternate location for homeless after hotel conversion proposal fizzles

No Room at the (Holiday) Inn

Asbestos making it hard to breathe? Step out and enjoy some fresh air on the rooftop deck encampment!
Asbestos making it hard to breathe? Step out and enjoy some fresh air on the rooftop deck encampment!

On September 22, the County withdrew its proposal to convert a shuttered La Mesa Holiday Inn into housing for the homeless. John White, who serves as Director of Pleasantness for the East County enclave, had complained that the project was being imposed on it, “sort of like the way a homeless person might accost you as you left a fast-food restaurant and ask if you might buy him something to eat. I mean, right in the middle of a date. Just incredibly rude and uncomfortable. But it’s not as if we don’t care, and that’s why we’re proposing that the County turn its attention elsewhere — specifically, to 101 Ash Street, right in the heart of downtown. If there’s one thing that San Diego’s ongoing homeless crisis has made clear, it’s that homeless people can tolerate living in conditions that other people find intolerable. I mean, look at some of the encampments in the canyons. Rotting food, human waste, trash everywhere. It’s awful. Some people regard this as a tragedy. I see it as a real advantage. Housing the homeless in a Holiday Inn in a small and tidy town like La Mesa was clearly a terrible idea, especially since San Diego has millions of square feet of HL (homeless livable) space just sitting vacant right near where most of the homeless already live!”

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Asbestos making it hard to breathe? Step out and enjoy some fresh air on the rooftop deck encampment!
Asbestos making it hard to breathe? Step out and enjoy some fresh air on the rooftop deck encampment!

On September 22, the County withdrew its proposal to convert a shuttered La Mesa Holiday Inn into housing for the homeless. John White, who serves as Director of Pleasantness for the East County enclave, had complained that the project was being imposed on it, “sort of like the way a homeless person might accost you as you left a fast-food restaurant and ask if you might buy him something to eat. I mean, right in the middle of a date. Just incredibly rude and uncomfortable. But it’s not as if we don’t care, and that’s why we’re proposing that the County turn its attention elsewhere — specifically, to 101 Ash Street, right in the heart of downtown. If there’s one thing that San Diego’s ongoing homeless crisis has made clear, it’s that homeless people can tolerate living in conditions that other people find intolerable. I mean, look at some of the encampments in the canyons. Rotting food, human waste, trash everywhere. It’s awful. Some people regard this as a tragedy. I see it as a real advantage. Housing the homeless in a Holiday Inn in a small and tidy town like La Mesa was clearly a terrible idea, especially since San Diego has millions of square feet of HL (homeless livable) space just sitting vacant right near where most of the homeless already live!”

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