... and for the city of San Diego.
We have great weather here. Everyone knows that. The weather attracts the homeless. It attracts everyone and with limited real estate, rental prices here are crazy high - averaging $1700+ per month for a one bedroom apartment. Once here, the odds of a homeless person finding lodging is pretty small. They don't have the skills to get a job paying enough to cover rent. The end result is a chain of tiny tent cities downtown, looking like this.
I don't go downtown that much since I don't volunteer at Catholic Charities any more, but when I did, I marveled at what looked like an REI sample lot. Street after street had tents on the sidewalk. One of our sons worked for a while downtown and every day he had to navigate the tents and residents to get to work.
San Diego has recently seen an outbreak of hepatitis among the homeless and tens of them have died from it. The response has been to erect a couple of massive tents to house and care for hundreds of them. Before you become outraged at that or blame one political side or the other, think about the financial aspect of it. San Diego real estate prices are very high which means the city is in the same boat as the homeless - no one can afford to create, permanent low-income housing. Thus, the tents.
When I worked at Catholic Charities, I met lots and lots of homeless people. These were people with low IQs, language difficulties, addictions, stories of serious hardship or abuse and mental illness in some combination. They were beautiful children of God like you and me, they had just rolled snake eyes in life and/or made some horribly bad choices.
There is no good political solution for this. There isn't enough money to give them decent housing and if you do, you invite more of them. For the most part, they aren't going to find jobs or get training to be able to afford San Diego rents themselves. It isn't conservative greed or liberal handouts, it's just the breaks in cities like San Diego.
This is why salvation is personal, not collective. While there is no large-scale, long-term solution, there is an individual one. We have Cursillo friends who know one of the homeless and take him in when the weather gets bad or when it looks like he needs a shower and clean clothes. At Catholic Charities and Father Joe's Village, volunteers take care of individual cases, funded by Catholics across the Diocese.
A friend of mine is a recovered homeless drug addict. When I asked him if he gives money to homeless beggars, he said, "No way. I'm not buying some guy's drugs. Instead, I buy them food. Try going into a McDonald's when you're homeless. The stares, the whispers and the ostracism is terrible. Get the guy a hamburger instead of cash."
You can't vote to solve the problem universally, but you can solve one person's problem, at least temporarily.