One day after the Los Angeles Chargers announced their departure from San Diego, a petition began circulating online asking city Mayor Kevin Faulconer and all city council members to put the Chargers' termination fee to good use.
The petition, posted to Change.org by environmental attorney Bryan Pease, asks city officials to consider pledging the estimated $12.5 million termination fee to addressing homelessness.
Pease suggested the city tackle the growing issue through "Housing First," a model of addressing homelessness through immediate permanent housing and voluntary support services as needed.
The San Diego Housing Commission adopted the model into a three-year plan in November 2014 called "Housing First - San Diego." In March 2016, the city council approved funding for SDHC's "1,000 Homeless Veterans Initiative," an initiative under the three-year plan.
"Our city’s failure to address homelessness is shameful. At a time when the nation and similarly situated cities, including Los Angeles, are experiencing a decrease in their homeless population, San Diego is experiencing an increase," the petition stated. "This is a direct result of the city’s refusal to address the issue and change its outdated model that only benefits temporary shelter providers."
If you agree money from the Chargers’ Early Termination Fee should be used to fight homelessness, sign here https://t.co/GeoYB7LBUx
— Bryan Pease (@bryanpease) January 13, 2017
The petition its requirement of 1,000 signatures shortly after 2 p.m. Friday.
When the petition has gained enough signatures, it will be submitted to Mayor Faulconer and city council officials.
"The final outcome of the Chargers debacle actually provides you with an opportunity to improve our city. It’s time to start living up to our motto of America’s Finest City, and act to save lives immediately," the petition said.