NewsLocal News


Allowing homeless to live in vehicles is causing problems, residents say

Posted at 3:17 PM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 21:30:26-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Dozens of San Diegans are calling on the City Council to take action after they say a decision to let people live in their cars is creating homeless camps in their neighborhoods.

Sarah Bonesteel has lived in the Pacific Beach area for 20 years. “It’s ruining the neighborhoods,” Bonesteel.

Lately, she says camps of people living in their vehicles are destroying the lifestyle for people who live in the area. “It can be 5 or 6 of them all together on a block. I pay a lot to live here by the beach, and it’s ruining the environment.”

It’s been about a month since San Diego’s City Council voted to repeal a decades-old ordinance that prohibited people from living in vehicles on city streets.

Now, it’s legal again and some residents aren’t happy about it. “There’s pedophiles close to the schools, we can’t take kids to the library anymore. A lot of people drink and do drugs in their vehicles,” Bonesteel continued.

RELATED: City of San Diego allows homeless to live in vehicles

And it’s not just the beach towns. Off the 94 near Webster, RVs and giant vans line the street, one even equipped with a satellite dish.

Frustrated San Diegans like Bonesteel have even created a coalition to try to fight the change.

Residents have been sharing photos and stories, like one woman who says her kids witnessed people beating each other outside a van.

Another man says teachers at a local preschool are extremely concerned. In Ocean Beach, one woman captured a photo of a dilapidated school bus.

“We’re trying to compile information, pictures of it all, so that we have it documented.”

Some people living in their RVs told 10News off camera that they don’t have any other options.

But how far has the repeal gone? 10News found people on Airbnb trying to rent out vans with “an ocean view.”

“We had joked about them maybe doing that, and then there’s been ads and it’s like holy crap, they’re actually going to rent it out,” Bonesteel said. “This is going too far.”

Bonesteel has a message for San Diego’s City Council. “Please think about what you’ve done.”

10News tried to reach out to councilmembers about the issue, but haven’t heard back. The coalition trying to fight the repeal says they want a sit-down with the council to go over the problems they’ve documented.