After much consideration, and initial support of this Encinitas Homeless matter on Saxony Road, I can no longer remain silent. Despite my personal like of and past voting record for Mayor Blakespear, and despite her doubtless personal good intentions in this matter, the residue of this unilateral (except for Tony Krantz) city council mandate does not sit well. Making a residential neighborhood in Encinitas a magnet for San Diego County homeless, and arranged without a preponderance of public support, is not the kind of vetting that we expect from our elected officials. The unknown unintended ramifications of this likely neighborhood-changing action puts a part of our city at risk, over time, and that risk is not being acknowledged or even considered by city officials — and that is disturbing.
Encinitas has not been known in the past as a problematic homeless town (like, say, Oceanside or OB), but that would change over time as word spreads about the largesse of Encinitas. This effort is clearly well-intentioned but is wrongly-configured in a residential area. And it is not so simply defined as those for or against homelessness — that is a facile and sanctimonious oversimplification. No one is for homelessness! Let’s start with that premise, right there, neighbors.
And that is why I would like to submit to the city the idea for a program uniting willing homeowners with driveway or backyard availability, and homeless families currently sleeping in their cars. The same requirements (vetting, hours, et al) would apply, so that homeowners felt assuaged of worry, and the connecting entity could be either Encinitas City or Jewish Family Services. The families would be spread out over a citywide area, and not concentrated in a residential neighborhood, where they would then come to sleep each night and depart each morning. This will allow homeowners of Encinitas who would like to help ameliorate homelessness an opportunity to do just that. The details could be worked out, I’m sure, and the grant monies currently to be used by JFS could possibly be apportioned to those homeowners willing to lease space in this way. I’ve not an idea of how popular this program would be, in reality, but it’s an alternative, and a start at looking at this another way. City of Encinitas? Leichtag? What do you say?