Families feet away from homeless camps near Mission Valley

Posted at 11:48 PM, Sep 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-29 02:50:51-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Residents living in homes above a canyon on Mission Center Road between Friars and Murray Ridge Roads are worried about open fires and human waste from the numerous homeless camps.
“The police come, [the homeless] leave, or the people come to clean it up and as soon as they are gone, [the homeless] come right back,” Birdland resident Jay Edwards said.
Edwards' home backs-up to the canyon. He can see the homeless camps from his backyard.
“It’s the open fires that are really concerning,” Edwards said.
Another neighbor shared drone images of the homeless camps with 10News. 

The images most concerning show a man tending to an open fire under a tree, a barbeque sitting on dry brush, and a make-shift toilet that empties onto the ground.
“They will walk to the stream, relieve themselves, and then come back,” Edwards said.
10News reached out to San Diego Police and Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office.
San Diego Police sent 10News the following statement:
"SDPD Eastern Division has done a considerable amount of work on Mission Center Rd. to address homeless issues, and we will continue to do so moving forward.
The affected areas of Mission Center Road have a few owners, including the City of San Diego.  A large portion of the affected property, however, is owned privately.   

In the last year or so, we have worked very closely with residents, our Homeless Outreach Team, Eastern Division’s Quality of Life team and the property owner to break down and remove multiple encampments that have been set up in a variety of locations.  

About three weeks ago, I received an email from a Birdland resident who has a view of the worst areas on Mission Center Road.  He reported the area was clear of encampments.  

I believe this success was due to the tenacity of the residents, the hard work of our QOL officers and the property owner’s willingness to work in cooperation with everyone to get it cleaned out.  The owner has spent thousands of dollars contracting out companies to do the actual cleanups on their property and have been very cooperative.
We also have a large portion of the San Diego Riverbed in our command.  The QOL officers worked the San Diego Riverbed today as part of the Hepatitis A detail and will continue working other locations within Eastern Division in the future."   

Mayor Faulconer’s office sent 10News the following statement:
"Residents can contact their City Council representative, call the City’s dispatch center at 619-527-7500 or make an online request at

City staff will dispatch work crews to assess the issue and determine if cleaning is necessary. It is important to share as much detail as possible when you make a report. Provide an address, a specific location at the address (sidewalk, gutter or street, for example) and, when reporting online, photos are helpful."