Tent vigil at Waterfront Park draws attention to San Diego's persistent homeless problem
On the lawn of Waterfront Park, the San Diego Emergency Housing Alliance staged a tent vigil Thursday as a call to action for those who have no permanent place to live in San Diego, especially people of color.
“Everybody wants a fair shot at the pursuit of happiness," said Curtis Howard, of the San Diego Chapter of the group All of Us or None.
"Five percent of our population in San Diego are Black, and yet 24% of our homeless population are Black," said Coleen Cusack, a lawyer with the San Diego Emergency Housing Alliance. "That is not an accident."
Yusef Miller, of the North County Equity and Justice Coalition and the California Poor People’s Campaign, said the root of the problem was not what most of us might think.
“Is this a problem of funding? I say no. Is this a problem of facilities? I also say no. Is this a problem of processes? I say no," Miller said. "The heart of the problem is our soul. The heart of the problem is our compassion for our brothers and sisters, our siblings on the streets."
This was the third tent vigil to be held this year. The organizers said it was meant to be in solidarity with a national day of action against sweeps — as in the sweeping away of homeless encampments — planned by the National Coalition for the Homeless for this weekend in Washington, D.C.
The Poor People’s Campaign is also set to hold its "Moral March on Washington and to the Polls" Saturday.