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San Diego, Vista and Oceanside receive county funding for homeless shelters



San Diego County officials on Monday awarded a total of about $5 million in grants to three cities as part of a $10 million program to increase shelter options for people living in encampments and vehicles.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Brian W. Jones, R-Santee, said he would be joined by former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer in Escondido on Friday to announce a bill that would prohibit encampments near parks, schools, libraries and other areas, allowing law enforcement to dismantle the makeshift camps.

The announcements illustrate the latest efforts to counter the rising number of homeless people in the region — there were 8,427 homeless individuals counted in 2022, a 10 percent increase over 2020 — as well as the disagreements about what approach is best.

It’s a dynamic not unique to San Diego, a federal official told members of the San Diego City Council on Monday.

“I don’t know if it makes you feel better or not, but you are not alone,” U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Executive Director Jeff Olivet told council members during a special meeting focused solely on homelessness.

The information-only meeting was held the same day San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher announced that San Diego, Oceanside and Vista would be the first to receive a portion of $10 million in grants available to any local city with a plan to shelter homeless people in their communities.

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