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Another Oceanside Homeless Encampment Covered With Rocks

Protesters gathered on Roymar Road in Oceanside as a former homeless encampment was getting replaced with rocks by city workers. May 7, 2021.
Tania Thorne
Protesters gathered on Roymar Road in Oceanside as a former homeless encampment was getting replaced with rocks by city workers. May 7, 2021.

Protesters gathered on Roymar Road in Oceanside on Friday as rocks were being bulldozed onto a former homeless encampment by city workers.

The protesters called the attempt to make the site inaccessible for homeless tents an “unkind solution.”

Michael Gossman, Oceanside assistant city manager, said the rocks are placed for the safety of the people camping as well as nearby businesses and residents.

“We could've put up a fence. That would've been very costly. People underestimate the cost of a fence. It's also an eyesore and not necessarily what the businesses around there want to see,” he said. “So instead we put in landscaping, hardscape, in the form of rocks. Those rocks are free.”

Rodney McGough used to live at another homeless encampment that got cleaned out on Oceanside Boulevard earlier this month.

“These little small strips of public property was actually the only place that we had that we were allowed to be at all,” said McGough.

McGough, along with other individuals, received a motel voucher. His voucher has expired.

“There was a half dozen of them ended back on the street. There was a lot of them that went to case management, but those were all sent to other towns and programs that have already proven to be ineffective, as far as their deficit-oriented... and it been proven that this approach has only further exacerbated chronic homelessness and substance abuse,” he said.

VIDEO: Another Oceanside Homeless Encampment Covered With Rocks

McGough said he had to look for his own shelter after receiving an eviction notice from the motel. He is now headed to the Homeless Outreach Center run by Vanessa Graziano.

This center provides shelter and is privately funded.

“We don't have a time limit because really 28 days is that time for them to start healing and figuring out who they are, where that trauma comes from and why they're on the streets and what led them to drugs or mental illness,” she said. “And honestly, a lot of people aren't on either. Some people don't have mental illness or drug addiction.”

Graziano is one of the applicants for the new homeless shelter that’s planned in Oceanside.

If her application is accepted, she is planning a transformational center with sleeping cottages and wrap-around services.