A â€śtableau of squalor and sufferingâ€ť isnâ€™t what comes to mind when people think of San Diego, a town with the motto â€śAmericaâ€™s finest cityâ€ť and a reputation for its craft-beer culture and miles of beautiful beaches. But thatâ€™s how Dan McSwain, a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, described the cityâ€™s homelessness crisis in a piece last year, the first in a series pillorying city leaders for not doing more to address the issue.
Since then the situation has, if anything, worsened.
A recent count found a dramatic 104% increase in â€śtents and hand-built structuresâ€ť located downtown, for a total of 418, compared to 2016. Driving through East Village, a gentrifying neighborhood on the edge of downtown, itâ€™s tough to find a street that doesnâ€™t have a tarp or tent â€“ or dozens. People with neither tent nor tarp fashion makeshift shelters out of shopping carts, storage bins and blankets.View Article