Community calls on city of San Diego to spread out homeless services

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Looking around Barrio Logan, you can't miss the shopping carts, tents and camps belonging to the homeless. Residents of the San Diego neighborhood say the city is turning their community into a "homeless ghetto" - and it's time for it to stop. 

Tuesday night a group gathered outside the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, calling on the city to provide "fair distribution of homeless services across San Diego."

"It's unbelievable what the mayor and the City Council are doing to this area," said Father John Auther. 

The priest pointed to a map, asking why a nearly 370 square mile city is putting most of the homeless services in a one-quarter square mile. 

Father Auther says the concentration of services goes beyond the residents of Barrio Logan. It's bad for the homeless community, too. The area was hit hard by the hepatitis A outbreak.

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"Many of the homeless as we know suffer from addiction problems, alcoholism, mental illness, and what the city has decided to do is put all of them together," Father Auther said. "How will anyone get well?"

Right now, city crews are working on a transitional homeless facility in the neighborhood. The facility is going up just 15 feet away from a school playground. A playground closed because of the homeless issue. 

"We can no longer feel comfortable, feel safe with our students down here on this playground," said Noel Bishop, principal of Our Lady's School San Diego.

10News asked a few people in the homeless community two questions: 

1. Will the new facility help you? All said yes.
2. If facilities were spread throughout the County, would you go outside of Barrio Logan? Again, all said yes - as long as they could get there.

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