Homeless in San Diego

Topics: San Diego, Homelessness, Poverty Pages: 7 (2900 words) Published: January 25, 2010
Numerous problems have been created due to the economic crisis that almost everyone in the United States has been suffering from. San Diego in particular, hit hard with the crisis, has faced a number of foreclosures and evictions which have consequently increased the number of homeless people on the streets. "America's Finest City" has always faced a homelessness problem, but like all chronic problems with the homeless, it is merely acknowledged in times of recession and economic demise. “In down times like today, focus is on the struggling middle-class homeowner, not on the housing problems of the longstanding ill-housed population" (Shaw). USLegal.com defines “homeless” under Section 11302 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act as an individual “who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence or a person who resides in a shelter, welfare hotel, transitional program or place not ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations, such as streets, cars, movie theatres, abandoned buildings, etc”. Our deteriorating financial market has led to more and more people being laid off of work, leaving the homeless community to grow in San Diego. But although the financial crisis can deepen the homeless situation in San Diego, it is not the sole reason for it. It can be said that at San Diego could even be the creator of its own chronic homelessness problem. The homeless population in San Diego can be attributed to a number of factors, such as the attempts to attract tourism or to keep San Diego "America's Finest City”. What people do need to focus on is creating a solution to this problem. Even during the prosperous economic times in the Clinton administration, the number of homeless people was still high and there have been many proposed solutions to pacify the problem, yet pacifying the problem is not enough. We must not only prevent homelessness, we must accommodate those who are already without a dependable place to live. The city of San Diego must increase its minimum wage to reflect the rising average rental costs, provide more low income and permanent homeless shelters, as well as provide more menial jobs. Without doing so, the streets lining downtown San Diego will become more crowded and the beauty will be taken out of America’s Finest City. One strong example of how San Diego has created its own chronic homelessness problems is the creation of Petco Park. The stadium itself has become an icon in San Diego culture. It lies in the heart of the city alongside the San Diego Bay and it changed the face of the East Village area it was built in. The area used to be renowned for drug users and prostitutes, yet as the building of the stadium began, construction workers began to take over. The stadium has become apart of the trendy urban style in the city through its location in the urban city rather than being built somewhere inland by the suburbs. The culture of San Diego is based on its touristic aspect and within a few miles of Downtown are Sea World, beaches, the World Famous San Diego Zoo, Legoland, and high end designer malls. In accommodating the increase in population, Petco Park catered to the baseball fiends of San Diego with Petco Park the same way that Qualcomm Stadium does so for football fans. Alongside catering to the rise of people choosing to live the city lifestyle like that of New York and San Francisco, the city of San Diego built high rise condominiums nearby Petco Park as a means to promote the urbanity of the city. “To attract tourists, it is important for local boosters to be able to project a ‘place identity’ that can transform ‘ordinary places and times into extraordinary tourist worlds’” (Judd 280), and San Diego has taken much efforts in attracting tourism this way. The attraction of the city not only brings tourists, but it also draws in potential residents of the city. Not every person who packs up their belongings and moves to the city achieves their goal of starting a new,...
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