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San Diego County sees surge in homelessness

 June 9, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Friday, June 9th.

San Diego County sees a surge in homelessness.

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


The M-T-S Board of Directors met yesterday to discuss the ongoing bus driver strike.

As we’ve previously reported, workers for the private contractor Transdev walked off the job more than three weeks ago, asking for cleaner and more secure bathrooms and better working conditions.

Veronica Ortiz has worked for Transdev for 18 years, and has watched her cost of living increase while her pay stays the same.

“We have coworkers that are homeless. They live in their cars right in front of our property because they can't afford it. Now Transdev knows all this — what we're going through — and they just don't care.”

After a closed-door discussion, M-T-S board members decided to offer Transdev one-million-dollars if it can end the strike in the next two weeks.


If you’d like to get out and celebrate Pride month, a Pride walk is happening in Santee tomorrow.

The meeting point will be in the parking lot of the Santee United Methodist Church at 12-30 p-m.

The event will feature speakers, then the walk will start at one.

The distance will be about two miles total, from Mission Gorge Road to Cuyamaca, then back to the church.

Event organizers suggest wearing comfy shoes, and you can dress in pride colors too.


And just a little weather update as we head into the weekend… it’s going to feel pretty similar to what we’ve been seeing in the county all week… cloudy.

The National Weather Service says temps will still remain below average for this time of year.

There’s a slight chance of rain tomorrow night and Sunday morning, and temps are expected to be in the mid-60s all weekend.

So… it looks like “June Gloom” is sticking around a little longer.


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


The latest “Point-in-Time Count” data in San Diego County was released this week by the Regional Task Force on Homelessness.

Reporter Melissa Mae has details on the number of unsheltered residents in the city of San Diego.

MM: The San Diego County “Point-in-Time Count” is done each year on a day in January.  MM: In the city of San Diego the January count found 3,285 unsheltered residents compared to 2,494 in 2022 – a 32 percent jump.  MM: San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria says one reason why San Diego’s number is high is because other places essentially export their homeless people to the city. TG “The city of san diego stands alone when it comes to taking on this issues seriously and we need other communities to step up and help house their own individuals from becoming unsheltered rather than passing them on to the city of San Diego and our tax payers to provide for.” MM: On Tuesday, a Comprehensive Homeless Shelter Strategy for the short, medium and long term will be presented to the City Council. Melissa Mae KPBS News.


And in north county, the homeless count showed lower numbers in some cities and spikes in others.

North county reporter Tania Thorne breaks it down.

Homelessness in Escondido jumped 67% from 2022, according to point-in-time count data.  Last year, 182 unsheltered people were counted. This year… 304. Unfortunately, the data reaffirms what we have been seeing on the ground every day that homelessness is increasing, Greg Anglea, is the CEO of Interfaith Community Services, the only provider of low barrier shelters for all genders, in North County. But some North County cities saw a drop in their numbers. They included Poway, San Marcos and the coastal cities of Del Mar, Encinitas and Solana Beach. But Anglea says the data is at best a rough estimate and is often inaccurate. Nonetheless, Anglea says the data does help organizations and municipalities get a sense of the problem. TT KPBS News. 


If you are a person of color in San Diego, you might qualify for up to 40-thousand-dollars to help purchase a home.

Reporter Katie Hyson looked into the new pilot program from the San Diego Housing Commission.

The program offers grants and deferred loans to help with down payment. It aims to help about eighty to one hundred moderate-income households of color who have not owned a home in the past three years. Ryan Clumpner is the vice chair of the housing commission’s board. He says this program is one step toward closing San Diego’s racial gap in home ownership. It will help families of color achieve the dream of homeownership that historically has been denied and kept out of reach for many of them. Non-Asian households of color in San Diego have lower than average home ownership rates. Historic racism in lending and housing practices helped create this gap, which hasn’t budged in the last decade. Visit our website for more on this story. Katie Hyson, KPBS News.


Coming up.... We have you covered with some weekend plans if you need some! We’ll have that and more, just after the break.


This month, Undercrank Productions celebrates 10 years of preserving and revitalizing silent films.

Arts reporter Beth Accomando spoke with the company's founder.

Ben Model’s career path was set when he was forced to watch silent movies in dead silence at college. it was such a painful experience that he offered to accompany the films on piano. ben model: i think between my desire to help the movies not die and actually live again in front of fellow film students, and the fact that people were watching the movie and not really me, i think got me past any nervousness that i had. and there was a great deal of satisfaction that was helping these movies be entertaining. and he continues to do that till this day, whether it’s by playing a live score at a library of congress screening or spreading joy during lockdown with his live-streamed silent comedy watch party. he also produces and distributes rare and overlooked silent films on dvd and bluray through his boutique home entertainment label. ben model: what i'm doing with the undercrank productions releases is trying to fill out the landscape, working to bring the films of the stars who people went and saw while they were waiting for the next greta garbo film. you can enjoy model’s delightful work on youtube or take advantage of the tenth anniversary sale on undercrank productions’ website this month. i guarantee these films will brighten any day. beth accomando, kpbs news.


My colleague Beth Accomando also dives into the world of Shakespeare, as it takes the stage once again at the Old Globe.

This summer you will find a pair of romantic comedies at the outdoor venue.

Beth speaks with director Kathleen Marshall about the themes of love in “12th Night.”

TAG: That was director Kathleen Marshall speaking with KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando.

Shakespeare's “12th Night” opens tomorrow, and runs through July 9th at the outdoor Lowell Davies theatre in Balboa Park.


And before you go… arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans talks about some arts events happening this weekend.

She shares the details with KPBS Midday Edition host Jade Hindmon.

Let's take a look at things going on in San Diego, starting in the north county. The California Center for the Arts in Escondido has a new exhibit of photographs of the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. This isn't work by Kahlo, but of her. What do you know?

And when does that open? // How can we see it?

Okay, one more. How about some music? The Young Lions Jazz Conservatory is playing a full day of free concerts on Saturday. What can we expect?  

TAG: That was KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans, speaking with KPBS Midday Edition host, Jade Hindmon. 

You can find details on these and more arts events, at KPBS dot ORG slash ARTS.


That’s it for the podcast today. This podcast was produced by KPBS Producer Emilyn Mohebbi and edited by Joe Guerin. We’d like to thank KPBS producer Ben Lacy, reporter Erik Anderson and editor Nic McVicker for helping out the podcast team this week. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend.

The latest Point in Time Count data in San Diego County was released this week, and shows a surge in homelessness. In other news, Shakespeare takes the stage again at the Old Globe. Plus, we have details on some other arts and culture events happening this weekend in San Diego County.