Homeless population nearly doubles along San Diego River

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - New data by an environmental foundation shows Mission Valley is seeing a surge in homeless.

A study by the San Diego River Park Foundation says the number of homeless living along the river has nearly doubled since last October.

In October of 2016, volunteers counted 56 homeless encampments along the San Diego River and in October of this year, they tallied 101.

"The numbers really were surprising," said SDRPF President Rob Hutsel, "an 80% increase is really a lot."

San Diego Police Department made 270 arrests in homeless-related crimes in September. Hutsel says the new wave of homeless is likely from the city's crackdowns.

The SDRPF has compiled data on the homeless encampments' locations and even the trash they produce. "93.7% of the trash (here) is sourced to homelessness," said Hutsel pointing to the map on his phone.

In Orange County, law enforcement has established curfews on certain banks along of the Santa Ana River where they are experiencing a similar issue with transients.

Councilman Scott Sherman's office says the city performs sweeps of the riverbed and curfews are a possibility once the area becomes more developed.

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