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Homelessness doubles in one year

 May 5, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Thursday, May 5th.>>>>

Homelessness doubles in a year

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….######

More migrants are getting expelled to Mexico under Title 42, despite the Biden Administration’s plans to end the policy later this month. The US has an agreement with Mexico to expel up to 100 Cubans and 20 Nicaraguans a day from San Diego, El Paso, and the Rio Grande Valley. The expulsions began on April 27th and will continue to May 22nd. That’s according to the Associated Press who was informed by an official under the condition of anonymity. Title 42 is a law used to expel migrants on the grounds of preventing the spread of covid-19. It’s set to expire on May 23rd.


A man convicted of fatally shooting a San Diego police officer in 19-78 could be released from prison in the near future. A judge has granted his petition that challenged Governor Gavin Newsom’s reversal of his parole. Jesus Cecena was originally sentenced to life in prison without parole, but the sentence was later reduced to seven-years-to-life due to him being under age at the time of the shooting.


The city of San Diego has won an appeal in its lawsuit challenging a state mandate that makes local water districts pay for mandatory lead testing at schools. The city attorney’s office made the announcement on wednesday. The ruling issued last Friday found that either the state’s commission on state mandates must reimburse San Diego for water testing, or San Diego can impose fees and charges to cover testing costs.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.
Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

The number of people experiencing homelessness in downtown San Diego and the surrounding area doubled last year.

KPBS race and equity reporter Cristina Kim says an SDSU professor and his students are now asking people living in the streets what they actually need.

On any given day you can find Bruce Appleyard and his students walking around San Diego’s homeless encampments…. talking with people and asking them to draw maps….

Students and researchers myself go out and have people answer a few questions and then draw maps on blank pieces of paper of their most important activities and the most important destinations of their daily lives.

It’s all part of a research project Appleyard started in Spring 2021… He’s a professor of city planning and urban design at SDSU and he’s trying to better understand how people experiencing homelessness navigate their daily lives….

It's a human centered approach to understanding their home territories and their needs.

It all starts with Appleyard and the students asking people if they are experiencing homeless and if they have time for some questions…

Like Terrence Mayfield. The 45-years-old Native San Diegan has been living on the streets for years…

It's been a struggle, you know, out here just trying to maintain and survive.

SDSU student Evan Dennis interviewed Mayfield, and askS questions about certain services, such as shelters…and how they are working for him

So would you go back now?

When I go to the shelter, I might I might go to a shelter, but I just got out of one and I'm pretty much burnt out on dealing with the people out here is a little more.

Would you say is less stressful in there?

There's a different type of stress. You know what I'm saying is close, close quarters. And you got hygiene issues with, you know, other people and, you know, using the facilities and whatnot.

And finally… Dennis and Appleyard ask Mayfield to draw a map of his home…where he goes to sleep, to get food, charges his phone and other daily tasks…

Where do you charge your phone?

Library. Okay. Maybe Kumar.

He says he’s always moving… but that the map says a lot about where he lives…

You know, I really don't go past this area.

Would you consider this your home territory?

I wouldn't consider it home. But it's my community.

And that’s a distinction Mayfield wants to make … home means something very different than just shelter…

To me You know, homeless and and houseless are, you know, two different things and. You know, you can have a house or apartment or whatever and still be homeless.

After the interview wraps up… Appleyard gives Mayfield a gift card for food—everyone who does an interview gets one. At the end of the day, the SDSU group reviews all the maps they’ve collected.

They want to use them to design services that make sense based on what they’ve heard about shelter curfews, crowding, and the areas many people avoid. But Appleyard says the maps are also a reflection of our society…that people want to move homeless people out of sight

It's not as much what the maps say about the homeless individuals we're interviewing. It's really about what it says about us. And oftentimes, people are just looking at homelessness as a problem that needs to be solved and dealt with, but admit that in ways that really aren't helping things, things in the way that we've seen them through the maps we've collected.

And that's a message that’s already taking hold with his student researchers… like Evan Dennis and Michael Rumfola…

It's just a really humbling experience getting out to go back into the community and give people in the community an opportunity to share their story.

Appleyard and the students plan to keep collecting maps and hope local governments will use the lessons gleaned from them. They’ve already met with the County’s Office of Homeless Solutions.

Cristina Kim. KPBS News.


Following the leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would reverse roe v wade, San Diego abortion clinics are preparing for what could be coming.

KPBS Health Reporter Matt Hoffman explains--

Looking at the makeup of the court, we’ve been preparing for several bad outcomes, this being the worst

Dr. Antoinette Marengo is the chief medical officer for planned parenthood of the pacific southwest which covers San Diego, Imperial and riverside counties.. She says even before this, 50 percent of patients seen at the Imperial clinic were from out of state or out of country--

Either crossing the border from mexico or coming from arizona

With up to 26 states poised to ban or severely restrict abortion if Roe is overturned.. Planned Parenthood is expecting a wave of new patients--

We’re going to see a dramatic increase, there’s just no crystal ball, it’s hard to predict what percent increase but we are preparing and have been preparing for some time.

a final decision on roe could come as early as next month MH KPBS News


San Diego County is using new high-tech tests that’ll allow officials to test ocean water and find out if it is safe for swimming, all in the same day.

KPBS Erik Anderson has details.

San Diego County supervisor Nora Vargas says the county is the first local government to get E-P-A approval to use the new sophisticated tests. The county had been trying out the tests for years. Vargas delivered the news in Imperial Beach. It’s a community that has been forced to live with ocean water that’s regularly tainted by sewage.

“The Tijuana River Valley pollution directly impacts the families of not only Imperial Beach but the community and the region as a whole. This advancement in water testing today is going to allow us to better monitor quality and provide us and the community with faster and more accurate information.”

The old tests could take 18-to-24 hours to produce results. The new tests can detect pollution in a handful of hours. That could bring down pollution warning signs faster because officials won’t have to wait for test results.

Erik Anderson KPBS News


San Diego’s new police oversight board is looking for community input in hiring its deputy director.

KPBS reporter Claire Trageser has more.

In 2020 voters passed a measure to make the city's police oversight board stronger. One of the ways the measure did that is by giving the board a budget for paid staff.

One of those jobs is a deputy director, who will also be in charge of reaching out to the community—right now, that job is done by a volunteer, Patrick Anderson.

He’s also overseeing the transition to the new police board.

“One of the things that the community really wanted to make sure happened with the hiring of these staff positions is that they would have direct, concrete, real input into the positions themselves and the hiring of people to fill those positions.”

He’s asking community groups to nominate people to be on this advisory hiring board by emailing him at Patrick-A at san diego DOT gov.

Claire Trageser, KPBS News

The commission on police practices will choose who’s on the hiring committee at an open meeting today at 3:30.


Coming up.... Using fit bits to collect data and combat structural racism impacting black moms and babies. We’ll have more on a study called “Power Mom” next, just after the break.

A study called “Power Mom” is using wearable tech, like Fitbits, to collect the biometric data of pregnant women. Scripps Researcher, Dr. Laṣé Ajayi leads the Power Mom study. She spoke to KPBS Midday Edition Host Jade Hindmon. Here’s that interview…

And that was Scripps Researcher, Dr. Laṣé Ajayi speaking with KPBS midday Edition Host Jade Hindmon.

That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

Homelessness in Downtown San Diego doubled last year, now an SDSU professor and his students are asking those living on the streets what it is they need. Meanwhile, San Diego abortion clinics are preparing for a future influx of patients from out of state. Also, a study called “Power Mom” is using wearable technology to gather data on pregnant women in an effort to promote maternal health and combat structural racism.