On March 7, the city of San Diego performed planned sweeps of homeless encampments downtown, sparking a conversation about this ever more conspicuous feature of downtown life.
Photographer Jamie Lytle and I decided to roam downtown and other places around the county to see what images we could capture on a single day — March 9 — of the tent cities. The nonprofit Alpha Project agreed to help.
It turns out, after several hours of work, we still came up far short of capturing a full image of how many there are now. One of our issues was timing. The settlements grow vastly at night — a sort of bloom that recedes sometimes very early.
But the ones that remain in the daytime are some of the most sophisticated and permanent of them all.