Special meeting to address city of San Diego's homeless problem

Mayor, City Council to look at new data, solutions

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A special meeting Monday afternoon will help San Diego city leaders confront the city's growing homeless problem.

The City Council will hear reports regarding San Diego's homeless population from San Diego State University, the mayor's office, the County of San Diego and the San Diego Housing Commission.

According to an agenda published online, the meeting will "assist the City in developing proactive efforts to address homelessness, including enhanced efforts to provide transitional and permanent supportive housing."

The homeless situation is a problem Matthew Merhige can see from his front door. He lives in a home on 17th Street and Island Avenue, in the East Village.

"I come outside to smoke a cigarette and just watch and see what's going on," he told 10News on Friday. "You see people sleeping on the street right in front of the porch."

The problem in San Diego seems to be growing. The most recent count found 8,692 homeless people in San Diego, with 4,900 of them living on the street. While the overall number is down from the year before, the number living unsheltered is up almost 19 percent.

According to the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, San Diego has the 4th most homeless people in the country, but ranks just 22nd in funding.

Monday's meeting could help the city find ways to increase the money to help the problem.

The meeting will be held at 1 p.m. at Golden Hall (202 C Street). The public is invited to attend, but the agenda does not include any time for public comment.

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