Dan Shea: Mayor Todd Gloria needs to provide proof of his homeless stats
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego’s homeless crisis continues to get worse as mayor Todd Gloria continues to claim San Diego has the situation handled.
Dan Shea, CEO of Feeding San Diego and Executive Committee Member of the Lucky Duck Foundation, joined KUSI’s Jason Austell to talk about Todd Gloria’s claims and what makes the Mayor’s words so unreliable.
Mayor Gloria continually says he is making headway and touting his policies as a success, but the reality is, the City of San Diego has a record high 1,609 homeless people in downtown alone.
Shae said he does not want to persecute Mayor Gloria, however it is his duty and the duty of his nonprofit to look out for the homeless, and for San Diegans. Shea noted that there are 17 other mayors in this county, but “the City of San Diego is the 800 pound gorilla, so it’s going to take the hits if there is bad behavior worth talking about.”
Shea went on to say Mayor Gloria’s reported numbers of new beds and rooms for homeless are almost unverifiable, raising questions of legitimacy, and wants Gloria to show and tell where the numbers come from.
Mayor Todd Gloria released a harsh statement in response to Tuesday’s Lucky Duck Foundation press conference, where he called Shea and Walton liars. Gloria’s statement reads, “So you know the ‘nothing is being done’ assertions by Bill Walton and Dan Shea to be false. And they know it too.”
Shea responded to Gloria’s statement, and called on the Mayor to explain what exactly he is doing, “because when we look around, it is getting worse and worse and worse.” Shea called Gloria’s attacks on him “humorous.”
Shea said his concern is the people who have no choice, but are on the street and need help. Not the criminal homeless living on the streets, who want to stay on the streets.
Concluding, Shea said he doesn’t know of anyone who thinks the homeless situation has gotten better under Mayor Todd Gloria, and if Gloria provides proof of his numbers, we can work together to get to a better place.
Shea spoke alongside Bill Walton and the Lucky Duck Foundation’s Drew Moser at their Tuesday press conference you can watch below.
KUSI News reached out to Mayor Gloria’s office for comment, and they supplied us the following statement:
“Today’s ‘news conference’ was simply a tantrum full of self-aggrandizing hyperbole and outright lies. San Diegans are frustrated with the worsening homelessness crisis, and Mayor Gloria shares that frustration. But unlike Mr. Walton, Mayor Gloria is translating that frustration into decisive, sustained action to improve the situation. To say that he has done nothing on homelessness is objectively false.
“Let’s be very clear: Addressing homelessness has been Mayor Gloria’s top priority since day one, and he has done far more to address it than anyone else in our region’s history. He has dramatically increased and diversified the City’s network of shelter beds, launched and expanded and highly effective street outreach program, initiated 18 different policy reforms to make it faster and easier to build affordable housing, directly invested City funds into 10 affordable housing projects, championed efforts at the state level to enhance access to mental health care, and stepped up sidewalk cleanups and law enforcement to protect health and safety in our public spaces. Homelessness is a crisis up and down California and across the nation. It’s an uphill battle and we’re nowhere close to winning it yet, but Mayor Gloria is doing the hard work and leading effectively. We encourage others to do the same.
“I’d like to add that you, the news media, know all of this to be true because you cover Mayor Gloria’s progress on the creation of shelter, housing and services to get people off our streets. You visit these new shelters as they open and meet the people being helped; you examine the numbers provided about how our shelters and services are leading to permanent housing; you witness and ask questions about enforcement operations designed to clear and clean the streets. So you know the ‘nothing is being done’ assertions by Bill Walton and Dan Shea to be false. And they know it too.
“The Lucky Duck Foundation knows the City of San Diego is the only city that took its donated tents – after other cities rejected them – and funds their operation and maintenance to the tune of over $5 million each year without a dime of support from Lucky Duck. Further, the implication that the two tents constitute a large portion of our homelessness efforts is also years out of date. In this administration, the shelter capacity we’ve created far outstrips the Lucky Duck structures – and it’s growing by the week, along with our other efforts to address this crisis.
“Finally, Mayor Gloria is clear-eyed and has been completely honest with the public about the enormity of the challenge our city is facing. It’s unfortunate Bill Walton is quitting on San Diego, but you can be damned sure Todd Gloria never will.”