SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As President Trump toured the Otay Mesa border during a fundraising visit to San Diego Wednesday, he briefly touched on homelessness across California.
During his tour, the President was asked about homelessness in California following recent news that his administration was looking at ways to address the state crisis.
He pointed specifically to San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
"And in the case of San Diego the mayor's doing the right thing, he's doing a good job. In the case of Los Angeles, it's a disaster. If you look at San Francisco, it's a total disaster, what's happening," President Trump told a pool of reporters. "They're going to ruin those cities. We're going to get involved soon on a federal basis if they can't clean up their act."
In San Diego's case, several options have been used to address local homelessness in recent months:
- The city opened Bridge Shelters and is set to open its fourth location this month;
- Parking lots where people living in cars can sleep for free;
- Storage lockers for homeless people to store their belongings, with a third facility being proposed;
- City funded program, Wheels of Change, to employ homeless people to clean up streets;
Still, according to a Point-In-Time Count by the Regional Task Force on Homeless, there are a little more than 8,000 homeless individuals in San Diego County. That number splits into 4,476 unsheltered people and 3,626 classified as sheltered in the county.
Members of the Trump Administration visited Los Angeles this month to tour the city's homeless encampments. The President's staff is expect to develop policy options to address the major issue.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state officials also sent a letter to the President requesting 50,000 housing vouchers and to increase the value of those vouchers to account for high rent. The letter said the vouchers would help "a significant proportion of our unsheltered population," including thousands of military veterans.The President's full comments on the issue were as follows:
One of the things we're very upset and angry about is we're paying a lot of money to Los Angeles to build a subway system, billions and billions of dollars. And you have tents all over the place. And, you really have a sanitary condition. Because this water is rushing into the ocean. And this is supposed to be storm water. It's not supposed to be sewage. And it's turning out to be sewage. And if these Democrat, liberal politicians don't straighten it out, the federal government will have to come in.
We're not going to lose cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other that are great cities. We're not going to allow that to happen to our cities. And we also want to take care of the people. And I'll even put the people first. Let's say we're going to take care of people. But they shouldn't be living like that. It's destroying the city and they're being destroyed. They're being further destroyed.
But that's for a different day. It's going to be very soon though ... We're working on that right now.
10News has reached out to Mayor Faulconer's office for comment, but didn't immediately hear back.