Local groups helping the homeless get out of the cold, rainy San Diego streets
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Now that it is cold and rainy in San Diego, thousands of people living on the streets are trying to get by with makeshift shelters. That’s because San Diego is no longer putting up money to fund the "winter shelter" formerly run by Alpha Project.
Tent cities in East Village are common, with multiple transients plotting a place on the sidewalk to call temporary home. Instead of going in to shelter for a night, they would rather stay back in their tent to make sure their possessions aren’t stolen or thrown away. It is one of the saddest things that you will ever see, with rows of carts, trash and belongings lining the streets. Every Monday morning the homeless in America’s finest city have to move it or lose it as garbage collectors clean out the streets.
"It’s kind of hard to get around. I just have a hard time standing up sometimes," Benjamin Carillo, a Vietnam Veteran now living on the streets of East Village told KUSI. "If I was in a house, I’d be warm."
The number of people living on the streets is now in the thousands, and once you’re in it, it’s hard to get out.
"You get stuck down here and it will grab a hold of you," Mike Hooker, another of the homeless in San Diego, told KUSI. "It’s like a spider web on you, you know."
Now that the weather is changing for the worst, the streets of San Diego are even less friendly. Local groups, like Alpha Project and Father Joe’s Villages, are making room wherever they can. Dining rooms are transformed into dorm rooms for the homeless. And while a night out of the cold and rain in more permanent shelters that are available is nice, the ultimate goal of course is long term. The key is this, once the homeless walk through the door of shelters, it’s time to work toward being a part of the solution.