By Matthew Manosh and Miriam Raftery
Photo: Outreach team members speak with homeless person in local park
Hear audio of full forum
May 22, 2022 (Lemon Grove) – The 2022 Point in Time Count of homeless people reveals some shocking statistics. While countywide the rate rose 10% from January 2020 to January 2022, in San Diego’s unincorporated areas the number was up 540.7% to a total of 173 individuals. The numbers also soared in several East County communities including Lemon Grove (up 72.2% to 31 individuals), El Cajon (up 68.8% to 1,308 people, though most are in shelters), and Santee (up 488% to 147), Lakeside (up 162.5% to 63 people). Some communities fared better; Spring Valley had 38.1% fewer homeless people (60) and La Mesa held relatively steady, up just 1.9%, and Alpine had just one person homeless person identified.
County ramps up efforts
“Your county is committed…like it has never been before,” Nathan Fletcher, Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, said at a recent forum on homelessness at the Lemon Grove Library on hosted by the East County Homeless Task Force and Thrive Lemon Grove. “There is not a zip code or a community anywhere in San Diego that is not impacted by homelessness.”
Fletcher outlined plans to help both the homeless and communities, asking support from residents, which are detailed below. Other panelists also addressed new efforts to reduce homelessness in East County.