Elected leaders in El Cajon Wednesday referred to as out county authorities for “dumping” homeless individuals of their group’s motels, a declare county officers say is misinformed and dangerous.
El Cajon Mayor Invoice Wells and Metropolis Supervisor Graham Mitchell held a information convention in entrance of a motel within the East County metropolis Wednesday morning to explain modifications within the requires public security providers round a few of its motels. They mentioned the rise in calls to police and Emergency Medical Providers was how the town first realized of what they declare is a rise in motel voucher program utilization.
“Not solely did we discover a rise in crime and wish for medical responses round a few of these motels, our cops began noticing new homeless people, together with drug sellers who prey on them, and open drug use,” Mitchell mentioned.
In line with knowledge collected by the town final weekend, of the 703 occupied rooms final Saturday night time, 26% — or 185 rooms — have been occupied with somebody utilizing a homeless motel voucher. Two motels, El Cajon leaders declare, have been 100% occupied with individuals utilizing county motel vouchers.
“It is extremely irritating that the county by no means bothered to tell us about utilizing El Cajon’s motels as homeless shelters,” Wells mentioned. “I’m wondering if El Cajon is the one metropolis the county dumps its homeless in or are they equally distributed in locations like Del Mar and La Jolla?”
Two county supervisors mentioned the claims have been deceptive and El Cajon wanted to do its half in combating the homelessness disaster.
“The Board of Supervisors is taking motion in a bi-partisan option to do the tough work of getting individuals off the streets and into everlasting housing,” board Chairman Nathan Fletcher mentioned. “Mayor Invoice Wells and the town of El Cajon need to push them again onto the streets. The general public expects us to take motion and El Cajon is taking part in a drained previous blame sport that does nothing to handle the issue of homelessness in our area.
“We stand able to work with anybody who’s prepared to do the robust work to get individuals off the streets however is not going to be deterred or distracted by these attempting to tug us backwards,” Fletcher continued.
In line with the county, the vouchers include providers and case administration. A full 30% of the individuals leaving the voucher program are moved into everlasting housing, officers mentioned. Of the 121 people utilizing vouchers at El Cajon inns and motels, roughly 64% are from El Cajon and round 94% of are from East County.
“To say that county is secretly utilizing El Cajon as a dumping floor is misinformed,” mentioned Supervisor Joel Anderson, who represents El Cajon. “Sooner or later, I consider our shared constituents can be higher served if we labored collectively, fairly than by means of press conferences.”
Wells and Mitchell dispute the county’s arguments, claiming that even with out these makeshift shelters, El Cajon makes obtainable extra homeless shelter beds per capita than another metropolis within the county.
Mitchell described what he referred to as the unsafe circumstances of the motels after visiting one on Monday morning.
“I used to be shocked to see one of many tenants of the motel sitting in entrance with a rolled greenback invoice about to snort medication,” he mentioned. “One other man was coming off fentanyl; he didn’t look nicely. As I used to be on the brink of name 911 as a result of he was about to go unconscious, a drug seller advised me to thoughts my very own enterprise. I used to be advised to “get the f— out or I’ll beat the s— out of you.” That was my cue to depart.
Nonetheless, the county says resort and motel homeowners voluntarily resolve to take part within the voucher program.
“It’s not the county’s place to inform the town of El Cajon’s companies how they need to function or who to conduct their enterprise with nor ought to the county deal with the town of El Cajon’s regulation enforcement,” a press release from the county reads. “If the voucher program now not aligns with the town’s dedication to addressing the problem of homelessness from a regional method, we’ve full confidence of their means to seek out options — and of their police division to make sure the residents of El Cajon are secure.”
–Metropolis Information Service