4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Oceanside gets even more serious about street people

City turning toward Bread of Life to run 50-bed home

Overnight shelter run by San Diego Rescue Mission, partner of Bread of Life.
Overnight shelter run by San Diego Rescue Mission, partner of Bread of Life.

Well intentioned efforts to help the homeless can get ugly. The city of Oceanside’s high profile moves to help the needy led to public confrontations and a grant revocation. One grandstanding councilmember induced giggles when he falsely painted the picture that a city partner was a grant-dependent deadbeat.

Oceanside is taking major steps to provide relief for the homeless. On June 16, the city made a commitment to provide permanent homes for veterans, newly-independent foster kids, the elderly and “extremely low income persons” by approving a four-story, 60-unit complex called Greenbrier Village Apartments to be located just behind the Oceanside Boulevard Taco Bell.

City councilman Christopher Rodriguez accuses a longtime Oceanside partner of having no “skin in the game.”

Then on June 30 the city will decide which outside agency will win the bid to operate a separate 50-bed emergency shelter with “wraparound” services to be based at an abandoned continuation school on Oceanside Boulevard near El Camino Real.

In April, Oceanside got international publicity when it dumped huge boulders on a linear homeless tent city nicknamed “skidrowceanside.” Rodney McGough was one of those right-of-way campers who were redirected with vouchers to stay at Marty’s Valley Inn. He says after all the ex-campers have moved on from Marty’s. Some, he says, did not fare as well as others.

“Sean and Mike and their dog Mumu were two of my friends who they set up in HUD housing. They were placed in a gang-riddled barrio. You don’t put white people in the middle of Mexican gangs. They had to leave because it was too dangerous. They should not be handing out Section 8 vouchers to live where it’s too dangerous to even be out on the street.”

McGough says the city-sponsored hotel voucher program lasted for six weeks. He says all his former tent city neighbors have spread out. “They went to shelters in Vista, San Marcos and Escondido… Everyone felt like they were lied to. They told me, ‘Trust me, we’ll have something for you.’ But I got an eviction after just 21 days because I didn’t qualify for any of their programs. Everything is set up to help people get off drugs and alcohol. If you don’t do drugs or alcohol, you’re out of luck.”

John Seymour defends his company’s longtime connections to the city of Oceanside.

At its June 16 meeting the Oceanside city council approved San Diego-based National Community Renaissance (CORE) to build and operate the 60-room Greenbrier Village Apartment project. The approval came only after an embarrassing exchange between councilman Christopher Rodriguez and CORE vice president John Seymour. CORE built and oversees three other low income multi-story complexes including Mission Cove. Seymour says CORE already provides 262 homes in Oceanside for 762 seniors, veterans and ex-foster kids.

Rodriguez went after CORE by painting it as a group that only exists because of government dole out. He recited verbiage that had appeared earlier on website postings by Solutions For Change, a different homeless support group that claims it operates independent of government support. Rodriguez claimed that Mission Cove residents were responsible for a number of criminal incidents that caused many police calls for service. At the June 16 council meeting Rodriguez called Oceanside police chief Fred Armijo to the podium who said he could not report at that time that that was the case.

Then Rodriguez lashed out at CORE saying the group could only build Greenbrier Village Apartments because of grant money. He said CORE represents “…billions and billions of taxpayers dollars wasted,” and that this was a model that “…failed over and over again.”

“I didn’t see any skin in the game from this developer,” said Rodriguez. “If you have skin in the game and are willing to put it down, that’s great, but I’ve heard it is nothing but 100 percent leveraging.”

Seymour raced to the podium to inform Rodriguez that he had no idea what he was talking about. “Apparently you have not seen exhibit B in the staff report. You tell me what you see…We are going to buy the land prior to the [deal] sir….that’s our skin in the game. Read it.”

Rodriguez still would not admit that CORE was buying the property on Greenbrier Drive per the agreement. “I see numbers but it doesn’t say you are buying it.”

Seymour corrected him again. “We are buying the land and we are closing escrow. If this deal falls through, we will be spanked bad. That’s our skin in the game.” Rodriguez then turned to the $3.5-million the city is committing to the project. Mayor Esther Sanchez explained that that was just a loan that would be repaid to the city just as all the loans to CORE had been.

After the public drama, Rodriguez abandoned his “skin in the game” histrionics and voted with the rest of the council to approve the CORE/Greenbrier Village Apartment agreement.

Kyoto’s Japanese Market is right next door to the plot of land that will host the Greenbrier Village Apartments. For the last two decades of its 55 years at Greenbrier Drive, the family-owned specialty store/sushi deli has been at ground zero of the Oceanside’s homeless problem due to its proximity to the Bread of Life/San Diego Rescue Mission and other support service agencies on nearby Apple Street.

Kyoto’s co-owner Steve Ray says the Women’s Resource Center residential facility across the street has never posed any problems during its 20 years as a neighbor. But that some of the clients from the nearby Bread of Life who wandered on to his property have led to issues with defecation, urination, and rats who were attracted by discarded food wrappers. “It was a daily cleanup,” Ray explains. “Sometimes they would be abusive to the customers. We were constantly calling the police for help…Jennifer, who is really out there, screams at the top of her lungs harassing people as they go by.”

He says that problem was greatly improved two years ago when he took the advice of an OPD officer: Ray erected steel bars around Kyoto’s perimeter. “It was the best $20,000 I ever spent.” He says business at Kyoto’s has never been better.

Ray says he supports the efforts to help the needy but he has issues with way the city of Oceanside handled the Greenbrier Village Apartments project. “No one asked us what we thought. We got no notification whatsoever that this was going in right next door. What I’m really concerned about is that all those families who live in those apartment [to the north] were never told. They weren’t given a say. Those are the ones the city should have been concerned about.” Ray is hoping for the best. “If it is managed properly and has proper security, it might be a good thing.”

Ray says a developer approached him about buying the Kyoto’s property but that his family rejected the offer. “If you’ve noticed, Carlsbad doesn’t seem to have the homeless problem that Oceanside does. They move their [shelters] away [from population centers].”

Still to be decided at a special city council meeting called for June 30 is what agency will be awarded the contract to operate a separate 50-bed emergency shelter at the former site of the Ocean Shores continuation school. The city bought that property last year for $1.88 million. After taking requests for proposals, city staff had asked that the contract be given to the Interfaith Community Services which runs a shelter in Escondido and already has a working relationship with Oceanside. But city councilman Peter Weiss said he wanted the council to hear from both Interfaith and the other agency approved by city staff, the San Diego Rescue Mission which merged with the Oceanside-based Bread of Life last year. Both Bread of Life and Rescue Mission are faith-based.

Rescue Mission president/CEO Donny Dee said he was taken by surprise when he learned that his group was back in the running again.

“About a month ago I got a call from the city thanking me for submitting a proposal but that they chose another provider. I was silent. I said, in my mind, ‘Wait a second. They never asked us one question. They never let us present anything.’ It seemed like they had their minds already made up. I was excited when I heard they invited us back to the table. I told them I wasn’t interested if all this was just a show of ponies. But I told them if you really want to see our plan, count us in.”

The San Diego Rescue Mission operates a 356-bed facility in San Diego in a former hospital. “I don’t think government shouldn’t be in the shelter business,” says Dee. “Let us get the people healthy and they can provide housing part.”

In May the City of Oceanside announced it was awarding a $65,000 grant to the Oceanside Homeless Resource, a grassroots support group run by an independent homeless patron Vanessa Graziano. Channel 8 reported that in its first year of operation Oceanside Homeless Resource has served 20,000 meals, and provides up to 20 hotel rooms a night, all with the help of private donations. The city rescinded the grant. In a written statement Megan Crooks, a senior management analyst with the city of Oceanside said, “…the City discovered that application contained factual errors and omissions involving the location of program and its funding sources. The fiscal sponsor for the application has asked the City to rescind the application." Crooks named the fiscal sponsor as Homeless Veterans of San Diego.

Graziano initially did not comment for this article, but has since said via text that she was told by the city: “The reason they’re taking this away is because of me being on social media too much and saying that I did not want their clients going into their housing which is absolutely absurd.” Graziano says Kelly Luisi, founder of Homeless Veterans of San Diego, “…100% was my fiscal sponsor and we are friends…the only reason she pulled out after the conversation telling us that we no longer have the grant because I was on social media too much.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

25 years later, Stone Brewing finds a new way to provoke us

Buenavida Hard Seltzer is no joke
Next Article

Sky diving above Otay Mesa, roller blading at Civic Center garage

San Jacinto climbing, glidering above Highway 79, biplane out of Palomar airport, skateboarders at Robb Field, scuba diving off La Jolla
Overnight shelter run by San Diego Rescue Mission, partner of Bread of Life.
Overnight shelter run by San Diego Rescue Mission, partner of Bread of Life.

Well intentioned efforts to help the homeless can get ugly. The city of Oceanside’s high profile moves to help the needy led to public confrontations and a grant revocation. One grandstanding councilmember induced giggles when he falsely painted the picture that a city partner was a grant-dependent deadbeat.

Oceanside is taking major steps to provide relief for the homeless. On June 16, the city made a commitment to provide permanent homes for veterans, newly-independent foster kids, the elderly and “extremely low income persons” by approving a four-story, 60-unit complex called Greenbrier Village Apartments to be located just behind the Oceanside Boulevard Taco Bell.

City councilman Christopher Rodriguez accuses a longtime Oceanside partner of having no “skin in the game.”

Then on June 30 the city will decide which outside agency will win the bid to operate a separate 50-bed emergency shelter with “wraparound” services to be based at an abandoned continuation school on Oceanside Boulevard near El Camino Real.

In April, Oceanside got international publicity when it dumped huge boulders on a linear homeless tent city nicknamed “skidrowceanside.” Rodney McGough was one of those right-of-way campers who were redirected with vouchers to stay at Marty’s Valley Inn. He says after all the ex-campers have moved on from Marty’s. Some, he says, did not fare as well as others.

“Sean and Mike and their dog Mumu were two of my friends who they set up in HUD housing. They were placed in a gang-riddled barrio. You don’t put white people in the middle of Mexican gangs. They had to leave because it was too dangerous. They should not be handing out Section 8 vouchers to live where it’s too dangerous to even be out on the street.”

McGough says the city-sponsored hotel voucher program lasted for six weeks. He says all his former tent city neighbors have spread out. “They went to shelters in Vista, San Marcos and Escondido… Everyone felt like they were lied to. They told me, ‘Trust me, we’ll have something for you.’ But I got an eviction after just 21 days because I didn’t qualify for any of their programs. Everything is set up to help people get off drugs and alcohol. If you don’t do drugs or alcohol, you’re out of luck.”

John Seymour defends his company’s longtime connections to the city of Oceanside.

At its June 16 meeting the Oceanside city council approved San Diego-based National Community Renaissance (CORE) to build and operate the 60-room Greenbrier Village Apartment project. The approval came only after an embarrassing exchange between councilman Christopher Rodriguez and CORE vice president John Seymour. CORE built and oversees three other low income multi-story complexes including Mission Cove. Seymour says CORE already provides 262 homes in Oceanside for 762 seniors, veterans and ex-foster kids.

Rodriguez went after CORE by painting it as a group that only exists because of government dole out. He recited verbiage that had appeared earlier on website postings by Solutions For Change, a different homeless support group that claims it operates independent of government support. Rodriguez claimed that Mission Cove residents were responsible for a number of criminal incidents that caused many police calls for service. At the June 16 council meeting Rodriguez called Oceanside police chief Fred Armijo to the podium who said he could not report at that time that that was the case.

Then Rodriguez lashed out at CORE saying the group could only build Greenbrier Village Apartments because of grant money. He said CORE represents “…billions and billions of taxpayers dollars wasted,” and that this was a model that “…failed over and over again.”

“I didn’t see any skin in the game from this developer,” said Rodriguez. “If you have skin in the game and are willing to put it down, that’s great, but I’ve heard it is nothing but 100 percent leveraging.”

Seymour raced to the podium to inform Rodriguez that he had no idea what he was talking about. “Apparently you have not seen exhibit B in the staff report. You tell me what you see…We are going to buy the land prior to the [deal] sir….that’s our skin in the game. Read it.”

Rodriguez still would not admit that CORE was buying the property on Greenbrier Drive per the agreement. “I see numbers but it doesn’t say you are buying it.”

Seymour corrected him again. “We are buying the land and we are closing escrow. If this deal falls through, we will be spanked bad. That’s our skin in the game.” Rodriguez then turned to the $3.5-million the city is committing to the project. Mayor Esther Sanchez explained that that was just a loan that would be repaid to the city just as all the loans to CORE had been.

After the public drama, Rodriguez abandoned his “skin in the game” histrionics and voted with the rest of the council to approve the CORE/Greenbrier Village Apartment agreement.

Kyoto’s Japanese Market is right next door to the plot of land that will host the Greenbrier Village Apartments. For the last two decades of its 55 years at Greenbrier Drive, the family-owned specialty store/sushi deli has been at ground zero of the Oceanside’s homeless problem due to its proximity to the Bread of Life/San Diego Rescue Mission and other support service agencies on nearby Apple Street.

Kyoto’s co-owner Steve Ray says the Women’s Resource Center residential facility across the street has never posed any problems during its 20 years as a neighbor. But that some of the clients from the nearby Bread of Life who wandered on to his property have led to issues with defecation, urination, and rats who were attracted by discarded food wrappers. “It was a daily cleanup,” Ray explains. “Sometimes they would be abusive to the customers. We were constantly calling the police for help…Jennifer, who is really out there, screams at the top of her lungs harassing people as they go by.”

He says that problem was greatly improved two years ago when he took the advice of an OPD officer: Ray erected steel bars around Kyoto’s perimeter. “It was the best $20,000 I ever spent.” He says business at Kyoto’s has never been better.

Ray says he supports the efforts to help the needy but he has issues with way the city of Oceanside handled the Greenbrier Village Apartments project. “No one asked us what we thought. We got no notification whatsoever that this was going in right next door. What I’m really concerned about is that all those families who live in those apartment [to the north] were never told. They weren’t given a say. Those are the ones the city should have been concerned about.” Ray is hoping for the best. “If it is managed properly and has proper security, it might be a good thing.”

Ray says a developer approached him about buying the Kyoto’s property but that his family rejected the offer. “If you’ve noticed, Carlsbad doesn’t seem to have the homeless problem that Oceanside does. They move their [shelters] away [from population centers].”

Still to be decided at a special city council meeting called for June 30 is what agency will be awarded the contract to operate a separate 50-bed emergency shelter at the former site of the Ocean Shores continuation school. The city bought that property last year for $1.88 million. After taking requests for proposals, city staff had asked that the contract be given to the Interfaith Community Services which runs a shelter in Escondido and already has a working relationship with Oceanside. But city councilman Peter Weiss said he wanted the council to hear from both Interfaith and the other agency approved by city staff, the San Diego Rescue Mission which merged with the Oceanside-based Bread of Life last year. Both Bread of Life and Rescue Mission are faith-based.

Rescue Mission president/CEO Donny Dee said he was taken by surprise when he learned that his group was back in the running again.

“About a month ago I got a call from the city thanking me for submitting a proposal but that they chose another provider. I was silent. I said, in my mind, ‘Wait a second. They never asked us one question. They never let us present anything.’ It seemed like they had their minds already made up. I was excited when I heard they invited us back to the table. I told them I wasn’t interested if all this was just a show of ponies. But I told them if you really want to see our plan, count us in.”

The San Diego Rescue Mission operates a 356-bed facility in San Diego in a former hospital. “I don’t think government shouldn’t be in the shelter business,” says Dee. “Let us get the people healthy and they can provide housing part.”

In May the City of Oceanside announced it was awarding a $65,000 grant to the Oceanside Homeless Resource, a grassroots support group run by an independent homeless patron Vanessa Graziano. Channel 8 reported that in its first year of operation Oceanside Homeless Resource has served 20,000 meals, and provides up to 20 hotel rooms a night, all with the help of private donations. The city rescinded the grant. In a written statement Megan Crooks, a senior management analyst with the city of Oceanside said, “…the City discovered that application contained factual errors and omissions involving the location of program and its funding sources. The fiscal sponsor for the application has asked the City to rescind the application." Crooks named the fiscal sponsor as Homeless Veterans of San Diego.

Graziano initially did not comment for this article, but has since said via text that she was told by the city: “The reason they’re taking this away is because of me being on social media too much and saying that I did not want their clients going into their housing which is absolutely absurd.” Graziano says Kelly Luisi, founder of Homeless Veterans of San Diego, “…100% was my fiscal sponsor and we are friends…the only reason she pulled out after the conversation telling us that we no longer have the grant because I was on social media too much.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

La Jolla’s “Street of Dreams”

Curve along the sea cliffs of Lower Hermosa
Next Article

Reading about La Jolla reminds him of Paris

Escondido critical race fan applauds shutting down of white cis-hetero
Comments
3

Vanessa Graziano was contacted Sunday afternoon and did not get back to me before the article was posted on Tuesday afternoon. That's just under 48 hours. She disagrees with what the city of Oceanside told me. She absolutely has a right to be quoted and that's why I called her twice on Sunday and had Rodney McGough (he's in the article) reach out to her to tell her I wanted to speak with her to get a response and he said she told him "she wanted [Rodney] to stay out of it." She previously claimed on facebook that she was denied the grant because she was "posting on facebook too much." Today she claimed that the "founder" of San Diego Homeless Veterans, Kelly Luisi, is the person who gave the approval on behalf of the SDHV that that organization would be the fiscal sponsor of Oceanside Homeless Resource. I have reached out to the Homeless Veterans of San Diego to see if they in fact agreed to be the fiscal sponsor of Graziano's group as she stated on her application.

June 23, 2021

Since I live very close to Oceanside Blvd and have seen too much of what is going on, I have a question.

Where were all of these other charities when Covid-19 hit and the homeless were at high risk? Where was the City of Oceanside?

As I recall, Oceanside poilce department was herding the homeless around from one side of Oceanside Blvd to the other. They couldn't even provide a shelter for patients just getting out of the hospital after surgery. Those poor souls were left in their walkers on the street.

The Bread of LIfe Shelter was closed, as was Brother Bennos.

Say what you want against Vanessa and OHR, but she was the first one I saw out on the street bringing food and sleeping bags to the homeless. The City, charities and churches weren't stepping up to the plate back then. It was only Interfaith and Vanessa taking any action.

Now that the funding is rolling in, they are popping out from under the rocks like roaches.

It's interestng that Megan Crooks who supposedly made the decision is gone now. My guess is the City feels threatened by OHR because it is grass roots and so far outperforming the City hotel voucher plan 10 to 1 in arriving at permanent solutions.

June 23, 2021

Megan Crooks' written statement: "The preliminary approval of the $65,000 federal CDBG-CV grant was subject to the preparation and approval of a grant agreement. During the process of of verifying information in the application, the City discovered that application contained factual errors and omissions involving the location of program and and its funding sources. The fiscal sponsor for the application has asked the City to rescind the application." When I spoke her, Ms. Crooks specifically mentioned the Homeless Veterans of San Diego. I think I recounted her words correctly in the article. Vanessa Graziano disagrees. That's why I reached to her and had another person who regularly communicates with Vanessa to respond. She declined.

June 23, 2021

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close