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More people needed to count homeless, less-sunny budget forecast and what we learned this week.
An assistant police chief recently said crisis calls to San Diego police — calls that involve people who are suicidal, or those who are mentally ill — have shot up more than 50 percent since 2008.
Our Lisa Halverstadt crunched the numbers and gave him a True rating:
The numbers back up Long’s claim.
Long believes a still-unstable economy may be behind the increase in calls.
California and other states across the nation have reduced mental-health funding and resources to balance their budgets in recent years.
Wanted: More People to Count People
One of the ways San Diego determines how many homeless people live within its borders is via a “point in time” count conducted every January.
This year’s count is quickly approaching — but the group that conducts it is running very short on volunteers, particularly in areas outside the city.
About That Rosy Budget Forecast …
Remember when Mayor Jerry Sanders stood before cameras and proclaimed an end to San Diego’s budget woes? That forecast got much darker in November, when the independent budget analyst predicted shortfalls, not surpluses.
The picture got downright gloomy Friday, when the city’s retirement system released its annual pension bill, projecting even bigger deficits for next year.
What We Learned This Week
One Paseo’s Fate Will Get Clearer: A hearing later this month will kickstart a series of decisions on the fate of One Paseo, a controversial multi-use facility in Carmel Valley.
If the project clears a series of hearings and reviews, “the project would break ground by year’s end — unless opponents mount a legal challenge,” writes Andrew Keatts.
Health Reform Is Awkward for Multi-Status Families: When health reform kicks in to help millions gain access to insurance coverage, non-citizens will get left behind. That presents an awkward situation for “multi-status families” — families that include some citizens and some non-citizens — do you get one child care and not another?
We profiled several City Heights families living in this situation, and their struggles to navigate a behemoth, confusing health care system.
• In our comments of the week, Oscar Ramos shares his story of being born in the U.S. to undocumented parents: “My taxes just went up as well. If my money is being used to give people access to health care and education so that they can achieve their potential, then I’m all for it.”
The New Downtown Homeless Shelter Is No Cure-All: The long-awaited Connections Housing center is set to open in phases as early as this month.
“The 14-floor, $38 million center represents a big change in local homeless services,” writes Kelly Bennett, who is continuing her quest to understand homelessness in San Diego.
But despite the big step forward the center represents, advocates warn that it won’t come close to stamping out homelessness. Because of its complex funding structure, it will be difficult to replicate in other neighborhoods.
• Liz Hirsch, a newly homeless woman who updates us regularly about her situation, checked in again this week to reflect on a lingering illness, and the need for a place where sick people can recuperate before resorting to an emergency room visit.
Filner Is Bringing the Border to the Forefront: Last week we examined how other binational regions stacked up in comparison to San Diego and Tijuana. This week, Lisa Halverstadt explored the ways in which the two cities could make meaningful progress by strengthening ties. Step one: Fix the border. Step two (and three, and four): Communicate more, lure businesses and get citizens to care about border issues.
Quick News Hits
• We included an incorrect link in yesterday’s Morning Report for a San Francisco Chronicle story about redistricting quirks that have played out similarly to San Diego’s. It’s here.
• “It’s edgy, it’s cool” — what is it? North Park, according to the Los Angeles Times. The paper chronicles some of the neighborhood’s restaurants, bars and places to stay.
Quote of the Week
“When they wrote the strong-mayor form of government, they weren’t thinking about me” — Bob Filner, to the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access according to CityBeat.
Correction: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized the increase in crisis calls in the headline. We regret the error.
Sara Libby is VOSD’s managing editor. She oversees VOSD’s newsroom and its content. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619.325.0526.
Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.
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