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Supervisor Joel Anderson hoping East County cities will work together to address homelessness

east county encampment.JPG
Posted at 5:33 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 20:33:30-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A homeless encampment that has grown over the last year on North Magnolia Avenue is causing concerns and frustrations for people who live or work nearby.

Undersheriff Kelly Martinez acknowledges that recent crimes have been reported and arrests made.

"We have made a number of arrests here, I know we made 4 or 5 arrests earlier this week, we have investigated crimes that have been reported to us," she said at a press conference across from the encampment Friday.

This isn't the only encampment causing concerns. Friday County Supervisor Joel Anderson announced that four East County cities: El Cajon, Lemon Grove, La Mesa, and Santee are working together through a memorandum of understanding that would address things like permanent and emergency housing, and increasing homeless outreach and community engagement.

"This is a huge issue that we're all facing," said Anderson. "We're moving forward with an MOU with all cities involved, all so we're on the same page that we're not pushing people from one side of the county to the other but rather getting them off the street. Allowing businesses, customers, and employees to return to their normal schedule without living in fear."

El Cajon's city council recently voted to approve a draft of the MOU, the other cities have yet to vote.

According to Anderson's office, steps have been taken to address the encampment on Magnolia, including having multiple agencies, like the Department of Homeless Solutions & Equitable Communities, Homeless Assistance Resource Team, Behavioral Health Services, and more, on-site three times a week since April 1. They say they've been able to connect people to housing, medical services, and cash assistance.
Anderson said two-thirds of the encampment has been recently cleared.