SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Former San Diego Mayor and gubernatorial recall election candidate Kevin Faulconer stopped in San Diego's East Village on Friday to discuss his plan to address homelessness in California if elected in September.
Faulconer has touted his record as mayor as an example of why he should be elected to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom in this September's recall election, specifically pointing to his handling of homelessness and housing in San Diego.
"We made a dramatic difference while I was mayor, still a lot of work to do," Faulconer said. "My very direct message is we need to have a governor who is gonna take that same type of action and make this a statewide approach, that's what's missing. I will do that."
During Faulconer's time as mayor, San Diego experienced a deadly Hepatitis A outbreak that impacted the homeless community. To get a handle on the outbreak, shelters were opened and stricter policies were enforced on clearing encampments.
According to the Regional Task Force on Homeless' "WeAllCount" report, between 2019 and 2020, overall homelessness in the City of San Diego dropped 3.8%. The unsheltered population went from 2,600 to 2,283, while the sheltered population went from 2,482 to 2,604, according to the report.
The majority of the county's homeless population was centered in the City of San Diego, where 65.3% of the region's homeless reside, at the time of the 2020 report. Of the 4,887 homeless individuals the report identified in the city, 1,759 were in emergency shelters.
Faulconer said Friday he would take a similar approach to his time as mayor if elected.
"The fact that we set up our shelter system in San Diego, we enforced no tents on the sidewalk while I was mayor cause we care about people to get them off the streets. I'm going to take that exact same approach because when I see what I see here behind me with our California state property, with our freeway overpasses, underpasses, that's happening all across California. I am going to lead by example as governor and change that," said Faulconer.