Homeless outreach workers continue Point-in-Time count in Escondido
While the Point-in-Time count took place on Thursday, outreach workers have additional time to count more people experiencing homelessness.
“This morning we’re focusing on counting RVs,” Sergio Cardona said Friday. Cardona is a homeless outreach worker and case manager for Interfaith Community Services in Escondido.
Cardona said people living in RVs, in their cars, and hidden in encampments are often unaccounted.
“What is underestimated is that there's more people experiencing homelessness at the moment,” he said. “At times, it feels overwhelming.”
Cardona says he has seen an increase in the number of people living in recreational vehicles in Escondido.
Earlier this month, the city of Escondido considered passing stricter RV parking regulations. RV parking would only be allowed in authorized areas or once a month for a 24-hour period within 100 yards of the registered address.
“I do get concerns from my constituents over RV parking on their streets," Escondido City Councilmember Consuelo Martinez said during that meeting. "Them not being able to see when they're pulling out of the street, things like that. So I acknowledge that there's challenges.”
Martinez said concerns over the increase in RVs need to be addressed but that options other than harsher parking regulations need to be explored.
“I do think we need to provide options for folks, being that we don't have enough housing and I know that we have over 1,000 families from our schools that are unhoused, ” she said.
Some of the solutions proposed during the meeting were the adoption of a safe parking lot or asking churches or businesses if their willing to offer up their space for overnight RV parking.
The ordinance was rejected and will return to the city council when more information and options are put together by city staff.
Until then, outreach workers like Cardona continue doing what they can.
“There's a lot of suffering out here. We see it every day. We take it home, we try not to but you can't help it," Cardona said. "We need more services and more resources. More housing built. These are people that have feelings and emotions and they need the help.”