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Vista City Council to hold emergency meeting over shortage of homeless shelter beds

Vista Mayor John Franklin is calling for an emergency City Council meeting on homelessness this evening. KPBS North County reporter Alexander Nguyen says the city plans to address a sudden shelter bed shortage.

The Vista City Council is calling for an emergency meeting on homelessness Tuesday evening because the city has no shelter beds available right now.

Why it matters

The city of Vista has an agreement with Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego and Interfaith Community Services to provide homeless shelter beds. With a COVID-19 outbreak at La Posada de Guadalupe Shelter in Carlsbad, operated by Catholic Charities, and a staffing shortage at Haven House in Escondido, operated by Interfaith, the city currently has no shelter beds available.

Vista Mayor John Franklin said this means the city can't enforce any of the ordinances against illegal campgrounds or get people into shelters.


"Our HOT (Homeless Outreach Team) team are out on the street right now outreaching to those who are unsheltered, and we have people who want to go to the shelter. But we don't have beds available," he said. "So that is a crisis because we have people on the streets that don't wanna be. And our mandate has been that we will provide shelter beds to all who want to use them."

By the numbers

  • Franklin said there are between 250 and 350 unsheltered individuals in the city, according to the latest report to the City Council.
  • According to the latest Point-in-Time count, there were 88 individuals experiencing homelessness in Vista — a 15.8% increase over 2022.

Looking ahead

Franklin has called for an emergency City Council meeting at 8 p.m. Tuesday following the regularly scheduled council meeting. Because of the Brown Act, he said the item couldn't be added to the regular meeting agenda.

The public meeting law required the city to send out notices for agenda items at least three business days before the meeting. Franklin said the City Council was not notified in time to post the notice so an emergency meeting was called.

"And we need more information. We're not getting clear and understandable information about why the beds haven't been available," Franklin said. "So tonight's about getting to the bottom of that."


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