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Putting a number on homelessness

 February 25, 2022 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Anica Colbert….it’s Friday, February 25th


Putting a number on San Diego’s homelessness crisis

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

San Diegans showed their support for Ukraine with a rally at the county administration building and a prayer service at Saint John the Baptizer Ukrainian catholic church in Santee.

Father Yuri Sas is the church’s priest.

“people are dying over there, every minute, every second people are dying. we need to stop this stupid aggression.”

Father Sas called on the biden administration and the european union to do more to put a stop to the russian invasion.


Also… San Diegans who have been struggling to keep up with inflation are worried gas prices will go up - again - following Russia's invasion of ukraine.

San Diego county supervisor Jim Desmond says he’s been getting calls everyday from people struggling to pay their energy bills.

This week he sent a letter to the governor, asking for the state’s surplus to be used to lower energy costs.

Desmond wants to temporarily cut state mandated programs… like wildfire mitigation…that end up on energy bills.

“Let’s put some of those dollars towards these SDG&E bills , these extra added costs that are added on to that bill so that can be offset and bring some relief to people who are already struggling with inflation.”

One bit of relief in the governor’s budget is a proposal to delay scheduled increases to the state gas tax.


San Diego county public health officials reported 8-hundred and seventy new covid-19 cases on Thursday and two additional deaths. The county’s positivity test rate was 6 and a half percent as of Tuesday, down from almost 10-percent from last friday.

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

San Diego’s point in time count took place yesterday. It’s an annual event that counts how many people are experiencing homelessness in San Diego, and how many of them are living on the streets. The count is crucial – as the data is used to determine how much federal and state funding the county gets to help it combat homelessness.
KPBS health report Matt Hoffman was out with volunteers yesterday in the east county and has this report.

Teams met before the sun came up. It was a frigid 37 degrees At Spring Valley Elementary when the annual homeless count started. Brian Gruters from People Assisting the Homeless joined the count in the Spring Valley area.. Teams spread out across the county .

Brian Gruters, PATH associate director outreach

It’s just nice to know where people are experiencing homelessness and any data we can get on that is great

Volunteers asked basic questions about age and how long people have been homeless. Some are also trying to connect people to help.. But many services like shelters are far away in downtown San Diego-- In Spring Valley Gruters spoke to one man who said he’d be interested in shelter, but doesn’t want to leave his hometown.

I think for someone like that the idea to ask them to move a shelter downtown is like asking them to move to iowa -- he doesn't want to go there

The count didn’t happen last year due to the pandemic.. In 2020 just over 7,600 people were found to be homeless with about half of them on the streets… MH KPBS News.


NOAA predicts ocean levels on the west coast will rise eight inches by 20-50, and a foot and a half by the end of the century.

kpbs science and technology reporter thomas fudge has more.

The recent report shows that in San Diego’s near future, floods at high tide will be more likely to impact infrastructure in low lying areas, such as the San Diego Airport runway. Mark Marrifield is a researcher with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He says if global warming continues at the current pace, ocean levels will rise a foot and a half by 21 hundred, and by up to four feet by the middle of next century.

“Then we’re talking about a very different waterfront. Good parts of San Diego bay around the perimeter will be flooded. The estuaries, the wetlands… the perimeters of those will be much broader.

He says the future is not certain, but the federal report has provided planners with a timeframe that’ll help them find ways to protect vulnerable coastlines. Thomas Fudge, KPBS news.


A runners group in City Heights is warming up for the return of their annual 5-K this weekend… after the pandemic put it on hold last year.

KPBS Speak City Heights reporter Jacob Aere says the club is more than just a sports team. It's a space for positive peer pressure and a better future.

The City Heights Runners Club brings together students from the middle and high schools around the area. It gives them a chance for some fun, some exercise… and some opportunities.

Crawford High School senior Joseph-Blue Sun says the club led him to U-C Santa Cruz.

“We went to a running camp and we took a tour of Santa Cruz and immediately I fell in love with Santa Cruz and the university. So that's what really made me decide. In terms, you could say the running did affect me going to college and going to Santa Cruz.”

The opportunities cost money, though, and the club raises part of it with an annual 5-K and family fun run. It’s happening this Saturday at North Chollas Community Park. You can find sign-up information on our website, kpbs-dot-org. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.


Coming up.... Movie musicals are back, and a number of them are up for the oscars. We’ll have more on that next, just after the break.

Movie musicals made a comeback last year with West Side Story, Tick Tick Boom, and Cyrano all being released.. and then being nominated for Oscars earlier this month. Cyrano opens this Friday in San Diego cinemas , while West Side Story is currently streaming on Disney Plus and Tick Tick Boom is available on Netflix.

KPBS Midday Edition Host Maureen Kavanaugh spoke with KPBS film critic and cinema junkie host Beth Accomando, and Moviewallas’ Yazdi Pitha-vala to discuss modern musicals. Here’s that interview…

And that was KPBS’ Beth Accomando, and Moviewallas’ Yazdi Pitha-vala, speaking with KPBS Midday Edition Host Maureen Kavanaugh. You can find a list of Beth’s and Yazdi’s top ten musicals at K-P-B-S-dot-ORG-slash-cinema-junkie.

That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. This podcast is produced and edited by kpbs senior radio producer Brooke Ruth, and me, Anica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a wonderful weekend.

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Volunteers were out in chilly temperatures Thursday morning for the point in time count, an annual event that counts how many people are experiencing homelessness in San Diego County. Meanwhile, NOAA predicts that sea levels on the west coast will rise by eight inches by 2050. That means more flooding for San Diego. Also, movie musicals made a comeback last year.