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Homeless advocates question sweep efforts around East Village ahead of Padres home opener

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Posted at 3:05 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 23:11:39-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — City crews, alongside San Diego police and staff from the Alpha Project were working on a stretch of sidewalk in the East Village Tuesday morning, moving people and things.

A spokesperson for the city says it's part of an outreach and abatement effort focused on the area ahead of Padres opening day on Thursday.

"Why are we just moving people from one sidewalk to another?, " asked homeless advocate Michael McConnell.

He says this happens every year, or anytime there's a big event at Petco and has been documenting the activity around the stadium over the past couple of days, Tweeting pictures and videos.

"I videoed people's belongings just scooped right off the sidewalk because they weren't there to move them," he told ABC 10News.

McConnell says in addition to the things being moved, he's also seen some individuals being arrested who've been ticketed for being homeless in the past.

But the city tells ABC10 news anyone who was taken into custody had an outstanding warrant.

The city issued the following statement:

The City of San Diego aims to balance compassion with the need to address public health and safety issues. In addition to outreach and abatement efforts occurring weekly downtown, there is a focus on East Village this week. Teams will be offering individuals shelter and services, removing any trash and debris, and ensuring the public right of way is clear and free for travel. This is in efforts to ensure the health and safety of the entire East Village area at a time when the City anticipates a significant and sudden increase in pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
Yesterday’s efforts assisted six individuals in getting into shelter and two persons accepting placement into a diversion program for chronic narcotics users.

"I don't believe their whole safety argument. I think they just wanna hide people, they want to scoop people away from the ballpark so all of these visitors that come from all over the county won't see this horrific humanitarian crisis right under our noses," said McConnell.