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The growing downtown homeless population – and increased real estate developments downtown – have prompted a rise in complaints with the city’s environmental services department about trash, abandoned items and waste near increasingly-common homeless encampments.

The spike in complaints has led to larger clean-up operations. City crews give the homeless 72 hours to move their tents and belongings before they come out to clean up.

Some local homeless advocates say the growing footprint of the clean-ups can leave the homeless with the impression that they’re not wanted downtown, and that the homeless can inadvertently lose belongings during the clean-ups despite a settlement that mandates the city hold onto them.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Councilman Todd Gloria both said the city’s ultimate goal isn’t to push out the homeless but to connect them with permanent housing.

In this week’s San Diego Explained, VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt and NBC 7 San Diego’s Monica Dean discuss the growing homelessness issues and their effects on residents and the homeless population.

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