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THEATRE OR REALITY? HOW A HOMELESS MAN BECAME AN ACCOMPLICE

 

How exactly do an East Country actor and a San Diego homeless man become friends? Theatre, of course.

Story and photo by Ron Logan

April 22, 2013 (Little Italy, San Diego) – Jerry is homeless. He likes movies and the arts. As a younger man he enjoyed watching the filmmaking students at Long Beach State University as they created their films near his home. As it turns out, he also has a knack for theatre.

Jerry is one of the estimated 10,000 homeless in San Diego County. He is a pleasant man. A San Diego native; intelligent, well-spoken and polite. Nearly 56 years young, he has been on the streets for about seven years now.

When I first heard about Jerry I assumed he might have fallen on hard times and wasn't very happy – that he didn't have control of his situation. I was wrong.

HOMELESS ADVOCATE TO SPEAK IN EL CAJON MARCH 21

 

March 20, 2013 (El Cajon) – Amikas is a San Diego-based nonprofit that seeks to create housing and help for homeless families and individuals, as well as prevent those living below the poverty level from becoming homeless by offering educational, employment and support programs.  The group encourages citizen involvement to assure that others have food, shelter and other necessities.

On March 21, the Executive Director of Amikas, Jeeni Criscenzo del Rio, will speak at the East County Democratic Club meeting in El Cajon. The event is free and open to the public.

FIRE CONTAINED NEAR HOMELESS CAMP IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO

July 8, 2012 (Rancho San Diego)-- Rancho San Diego- San Miguel firefighters along with Cal Fire held a wildland fire in Rancho San Diego today to half an acre.

The fire started in a gulley west of Campo Road at Jamacha Blvd., an area that contains several homeless camps. Discarded clothing and debris burned along with brush and grass, San Miguel Fire reports. Cal Fire is conducting an investigation into the cause.

BLIND SPRING VALLEY WOMAN DRAWS NATIONAL ATTENTION, WEAVES MATS FOR HOMELESS AND MORE OUT OF PLASTIC BAGS

By Miriam Raftery

January 21, 2012 (Spring Valley) –More than 70 homeless people in San Diego have a clean, dry mat to sleep on – thanks to the tireless efforts of Wilma Groh. 

The 89-year-old Spring Valley woman, who is nearly blind and suffers from arthritis, has trained volunteers to weave sleeping mats, hats, purses and other items from plasttic grocery bags.  Her efforts have drawn local and national media attention—inspiring more people to get involved.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR HOMELESS COUNT ON JANUARY 27 COUNTYWIDE

January 19, 2012 (San Diego) – The Regional Task Force on the Homeless seeks volunteers to help with its annual countywide point-in-time count of homeless people in our region. Titled the “We all County Campaign,” the count will be held on Friday, January 27 from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. To volunteer, sign up at http://www.rtfhsd.org/pitc/weallcount-registration/.

Forming teams is encouraged, but not required. Another 200 volunteers are needed to reach this year’s goal of 750 volunteers.

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE CHARTS A ROAD HOME FOR SAN DIEGO'S HOMELESS

 

Concerns raised in San Diego, where 1,462 new homeless veterans were on the streets last year

 

By Richard Darvas
 

July 21, 2011 (San Diego)--In the second in a series of regional stops which include Sacramento and Los Angeles, the California Assembly’s Select Committee on Homelessness convened in San Diego on July 20.

 

According to a January 2011 report by the national Alliance to End Homelessness, the state’s total estimated homeless population has climbed to 133,129. The mission of these statewide forums, collectively known as “The Road Home,” is to engage the public and policymakers in developing strategies to address the diverse needs of California’s homeless--including a growing homeless population in San Diego and East County.

EAST COUNTY MAYORS REACT TO HOMELESS COUNT FINDINGS

 

By Jeremy Los

 

“This issue has received band-aid approaches to fix it when it needs a tourniquet.” – La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid

 

“We look at them as a resource… they are the eyes and ears of the community… they certainly know when something is going on.” – El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis, on the homeless in his town

 

 "I do not feel there needs to be a regional center for the homeless in East County." -- Lemon Grove Mayor Mary Sessom

 

"I am not in the homeless business." - Santee Mayor Randy Voepel

 

April 26, 2011 – Four East County mayors shared their reactions on a new study on the many homeless in our region. Their views differed dramatically on how to address the homeless problem.  In addition, three of the four mayors questioned the study findings and voiced doubts on the numbers of homeless people listed in their cities. 

 

According to the 2011 Point-In-Time Count by the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, East County is now home to 8.9% of San Diego County’s homeless population, with El Cajon staking claim to the highest number of homeless people. However, the majority of El Cajon's homeless are in shelters--while in other East County communities, the homeless are living on the streets, in cars, or camped along riverbeds.  

GIVE A HOMELESS PERSON IN SAN DIEGO A WARM SLEEPING BAG, A PONCHO AND A STUFF SACK FOR $35

 

By Dave Patterson

March 27, 2011 (San Diego)  There are now about 4,000 homeless folks in San Diego County, with many of them located downtown on the streets. Many of them are the "newly homeless" and have nothing other than the clothes that they are wearing. The nights can be very cold and wet.

San Diego Veterans For Peace, a local 501-C-3 veterans educational organization, has created a "Compassion Campaign" to provide the homeless downtown with a set of a sleeping bag, poncho, and nylon stuff sack, which will help make their life immensely better while they are homeless.

LOCAL HOMELESS PROJECTS RECEIVE $4.7 MILLION


Money Will Fund 29 Projects Throughout County

 

More than $4.7 million is going to local programs that help homeless individuals and families who deal with challenges such as mental illness, disabilities and domestic violence. In East County, projects funded include Crisis House and Kurdish Human Rights Watch.

 

The County of San Diego Department of Housing and Community Development applied for funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Supportive Housing Program on behalf of community organizations.

SAN DIEGO RESIDENT ASSAULTS HOMELESS MAN

 

January 17, 2011 (San Diego) – San Diego Police report that a resident at 3000 Central Avenue became angered when a transient parked his pushcart on the property at 7:24 a.m. According to Officer J. Jacobsen, the resident hit the homeless man in the face with a 2 x 4 board. 

VETERANS FOR PEACE SEEKS HELP FOR HOMELESS

 

January 2, 2010 (San Diego) – As winter temperatures locally dip below freezing, San Diego Veterans For Peace is distributing sleeping bags and ponchos to the homeless.

“So far we have distributed 145 sets, and are seeking donations to continue,” said Ramona resident Dave Patterson, Veterans for Peace spokesman.  The group seeks donations of cash, sleeping bags and ponchos to help protect local veterans from winter storms and cold.  Last year, more than 60 homeless people died on the streets of San Diego, many from exposure to harsh winter weather.

HOPE FOR THE HOMELESS

By Miriam Raftery
 

December 3, 2010 (San Diego) – A new program is proving effective at helping chronically homeless people in San Diego County find permanent homes, get medical care and other support services needed to rebuild their lives.

 

Facilitated by United Way of San Diego County, the San Diego County Plan to End Chronic Homelessness (PTECH) has found permanent homes for 177 chronically homeless San Diegans in the past 17 months, including people in East County--and actually saved taxpayers money.
 

HOMELESS FOR THE HOLIDAYS: STILL NO WINTER SHELTER IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

 

November 26, 2010 (San Diego, California) – As temperatures hit record cold Thanksgiving night, San Diego’s homeless still had no winter shelter.

 

“People are literally freezing out there,” said Bob McElroy, director of the Alpha Project, which helps San Diego’s homeless and mentally ill get off the streets.

Council first considered a shelter in the East Village area, to serve homeless people countywide. (East County has no winter shelter.) Then in October, Council voted to open Golden Hall as a temporary winter shelter—but reneged on that pledge the day after the election, voting to shift the shelter to Barrio Logan instead. But yesterday, workers were still assembling beds—leaving the homeless outside in a bitter cold that dipped below freezing.

SAN DIEGO APPROVES WINTER HOMELESS SHELTER—RIGHT NEXT TO CITY HALL

 

East County News Service

October 22, 2010 (San Diego) -- After three public hearings and hours of testimony from scores of people, including the homeless, the San Diego City Council has chosen a site in its own backyard to serve as a winter shelter: Golden Hall, the convention complex attached to City Hall.

 

“This is the best compromise available for this year’s winter shelter,” said Councilmember Emerald, a former TV newscaster who once went spent a week living on the streets for an undercover story on homelessness. 

READER'S EDITORIAL: NO PLACE AT THE TABLE! FEEDING THE HOMELESS IN SAN DIEGO IS A CRIME


By Rocky Neptun

“Mommie, I’m hungry,” the little girl cried as she stood shivering in the cold wind, waiting for food. The image has never left me…and now that I am semi-retired I want to be part of an effort making sure no more children starve on San Diego city streets.

HOMELESS IN EAST COUNTY: A LOST PHILOSOPHY STUDENT WANDERS THE STREETS OF EL CAJON

 

This is the latest in a series on homeless persons in East County based on first-person accounts.  Because voices of the homeless are seldom heard in the media, this provides an ongoing platform for the homeless to relay their unfiltered stories. If you are homeless, or know of a homeless individual willing to be interviewed, please contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.

By Richard Darvas
 

April 3, 2010 (El Cajon) -- On campus at El Cajon’s Grossmont College, one is likely to find Andres Hernandez in the library quietly reading pre-Socratic philosophical treatises before class. Outside a local bookstore, he may also be seen thumbing through the eighth century B.C. poet Hesiod’s Theogeny, boning up on Greek mythology. In an interview with East County Magazine, Hernandez says that he gravitates toward these two places because they serve as intellectual hubs for the homeless student.

 

HOMELESS IN EAST COUNTY: INJURED & MENTALLY ILL, JAMUL MAN FINDS HELP IS SCARCE


This is the latest in a series of profiles of homeless persons in East County. If you know of a homeless individual willing to be interviewed, please contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.

 

By Richard Darvas

 

March 16, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- Days before Bryan Brzezowski’s sixteenth birthday, he began to hear voices, he recalled in an interview with East County Magazine. Paranoid strangers warned of outward threats. “Oh, this person’s out to get you. That person just wants to kick your butt.”

 

At 25 years old, he was diagnosed as a mild schizophrenic. Shortly after he became homeless in September 2008, the depth of his mental illness manifested itself in loudening delusions, self-identity confusion and unprovoked irritation, he recalled.

COUNTY RECEIVES $4.3 MILLION FOR HOMELESS PROJECTS

 

January 8, 2009 (San Diego) -- More than $4.3 million is going to local programs that help homeless individuals find shelter and deal with challenges such as mental illness, disabilities and domestic violence. East County Magazine has e-mailed the County to inquire whether any of these funds will address the growing homelessness needs in East County.

HELP THE HOMELESS IN SAN DIEGO: HOLIDAY CATALOG, AUCTION, & A PARTY FOR HOMELESS CHILDREN

Dear Readers,

December 14, 2009 (San Diego) -- Did you know that 200 homeless people a year die on the streets of San Diego? That’s what a counselor who works with the homeless told me at our holiday party last night. Children account for 39% of all homeless people nationally—and families are the fastest growing segment. This holiday season, as most people are opening gifts and enjoying warm meals, nearly 10,000 homeless men, women and children are living on the streets or in their cars, enduring bitter cold, hunger, and hopelessness. Many have lost their jobs and homes in this difficult economy. Fortunately, there are some things that each of us can do to help this holiday season.

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