El Cajon homeless

AMID PANDEMIC, EL CAJON ENDS LEASE WITH CRISIS HOUSE, PUTTING SERVICES FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS AT RISK

By Miriam Raftery

“It’s very likely that we won’t be able to provide the same level of service that we do today….The County has no walk-in services for the homeless, and pretty soon that’s going to be the way it will be in El Cajon.” – Mary Case, Executive Director at Crisis House (photo, left)

June 25, 2020 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve an early lease termination agreement to oust Crisis House from city-owned property at 1034 Magnolia Ave. For the past 26 years, the city has leased the property to Crisis House for a dollar a year, recognizing the value to the community of the services provided by Crisis House, which has a mission to “break the cycle of poverty, domestic violence and homelessness and strengthen families and individuals so that they can thrive and transform their lives.”

The city wants Crisis House gone from is current location near the new Hampton Inn hotel.  So the Council-approved measure offers Crisis House $700,000 if it vacates the property by September 30th. That amount diminishes to just $350,000 by year’s end and $150,000 by March 31, or zero if Crisis house remains until the lease expires on June 30, 2021.

But Mary Case, Executive Director of Crisis House, says that’s not enough time to find an affordable space, adding that the action will almost certainly mean major cuts in services.


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EL CAJON CITY MANAGER CHALLENGES OTHER EAST COUNTY CITIES AND COUNTY TO SERVE HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS

Graham Mitchell Provides Year End Status Report of city’s efforts  

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Complete Video: https://youtu.be/LybwvTl7E8Y

Powerpoint presentation: Homeless Program Update (Jan 14, 2020).pdf

January 27, 2020 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon City Manager Graham Mitchell has challenged other East County cities and the County of San Diego to address the current crisis level of homeless individuals, as El Cajon has during the past year.

In an overview of its efforts at the first council session for the year, Mitchell told councilmembers that the city has spent $640,000 on programs directed to people who have made El Cajon streets their home. While the city will be spending that much again this year, Mitchell challenged the smaller cities around El Cajon (Santee, La Mesa, and Lemon Grove) to make similar efforts.

“We are doing far more than what our neighbors have been doing,” Mitchell said.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: SHOULD WE LIMIT FREEDOM OF PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE TO BE HOMELESS?

By Steve Goble, El Cajon Councilman

January 14, 2020 (El Cajon) -- This has lots of good information. Thank you for this article, “Cities Should Act on Homelessness or Face Lawsuits, Newsom Task Force Says.”   

What I don't see the state officials addressing yet is, "What about a person's freedom to not live under a roof?"

The Council meeting today will have a comprehensive discussion on our efforts and results to-date on programs addressing homelessness.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CITY OF EL CAJON ON THE FOOD SHARING BAN

 

By Raymond Lutz, Citizens Overnight

January 22, 2018 (El Cajon) - Greetings:

I am writing today about the failed policy to cite or arrest people who are sharing food at parks, and the related Hepatitis A outbreak.

El Cajon is getting a national reputation, and it isn’t a good one. I noticed a recent Facebook video on the subject – https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/1778159485607501/ – received more than three million views. We can’t afford to get this type of publicity!


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MAN ARRESTED FOR KIDNAPPING FORMER GIRLFRIEND IN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

July 18, 2017 (El Cajon) – Mark David Dabrowski, a 55-year-old transient in El Cajon, has been arrested and charged with kidnapping and domestic violence.

Yesterday morning, a witness called El Cajon Police to report that Dabrowski had abducted his former girlfriend, who is also homeless, while she was sleeping on an elementary school campus.


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EL CAJON CRISIS HOUSE TO HOLD OPEN HOUSE FOR HOMELESS CITIZENS ON JUNE 2 AT ROCK CHURCH

Volunteers needed to assist at event to help the homeless

By Paul Kruze

May 26, 2017 (El Cajon) --As the sun sets in the west behind surrounding mountains, some 700 people get ready to bed down every night on the asphalt streets of El Cajon. The roof over their heads is the night sky glowing with pillars of street lights and neon signs. They end up living on the streets for a dozen of reasons, including, bad life decisions, abusive relationships, drugs and alcohol, mental illness, and unemployment.

But for four hours on Friday, June 2nd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. things might look a little brighter.


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EL CAJON REJECTS FINDINGS OF GRAND JURY REPORTS ON HOMELESSNESS AND POLICE OVERSIGHT

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photos:  Councilman Tony Ambrose, left, leveled harsh words at Richard Graydon, right, a citizen seeking more help for homeless people.

August 11,2016 (El Cajon) – Tempers grew heated during Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council hearing, where  Council member Tony Ambrose scolded a citizen, Richard Graydon, who had criticized the City's approach to homelessness.  The agenda included the city’s responses to two critical Grand Jury reports, one on homeless issues and the other calling for formation of a citizens’ police oversight board. 

The City determined it already does enough to help homeless people--more than other East County cities-- and also concluded there is no need to allow citizens'oversight of any complaints against El Cajon Police.


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UNSHELTERED HOMELESS COUNT JUMPS 19% COUNTYWIDE

 

 

“We All Count” organizers voice concerns over undercount of homeless due to lack of data provided by shelter in El Cajon

By Miriam Raftery

May 12, 2016 (San Diego) – Results of “We All Count,” the annual count of homeless people countywide, show a 19% increase in the number of unsheltered homeless people, though a slight dip (less than a percentage point) in the total number of homeless countywide.

In an interview with the East County Magazine Show originally aired on KNSJ radio, Dolores Diaz, Executive Director of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, and Michael McConnell, an advocate for the homeless who has served as team leader for “25 Cities”, a national initiative to end homelessness and publisher of Homelessness News San Diego, discussed this year’s results of the point-in-time homeless count, as well as long term solutions to end homelessness.

Hear our interview by clicking the orange arrow above (sound files may take a few moments to load), plus scroll down for additional details and updates obtained after our interview aired.

Audio: 

Interview with Dolores Diaz & Michael McConnell on homelessness

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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.