City Council considers implementing homeless committee

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The City Council is scheduled to consider Tuesday forming a special committee to address homelessness issues in San Diego. 

The committee, proposed two months ago by council President Myrtle Cole, would meet for one year — with a potential six-month extension. 

Under Cole’s plan, the panel would be chaired by Councilman Chris Ward, whose district of downtown, Hillcrest and North Park is particularly affected by the homelessness problem.

Council members Chris Cate, Georgette Gomez and Lorie Zapf would also serve on the committee, which would bring recommendations for addressing the problem to the full City Council.

The homeless committee would also support a six-point plan by the San Diego Housing Commission that would result in 500 more housing units, stronger prevention programs and coordination of outreach programs by the various agencies involved in homelessness, according to Cole. 

Formation of a special City Council committee has recent precedent in San Diego.    

From January 2015 to May 2016, Cate and colleague Mark Kersey, long with then-Councilwomen Marti Emerald and Sherri Lightner, comprised a panel that scoured the City Charter to clarify and consolidate San Diego’s primary governing document.

Lightner chaired the Charter Review Committee, which produced numerous amendments that were approved by voters. 

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