40 Called Homeless in La Mesa, According to Point-in-Time Count

County saw 8.6 percent rise over the past year, with 9,800 estimated living on streets or in cars.

Forty people are homeless in La Mesa, including a dozen living out of their cars, according to a recent census.

The figure from a Jan. 27 Point-in-Time Count by volunteers of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless was a 27 percent drop from the 55 seen here in 2011.

In San Diego County, 9,800 were counted as sheltered or unsheltered homeless—an 8.6 percent jump from the 2011 count of  9,020, the task force said last month.

Peter Callstrom, executive director of the regional task force, called this year’s count the most comprehensive since the inception of a federal mandate in 2005.

“What are the reasons for the increase? Many factors contribute,” he said. “For one, we had 20 percent more volunteers than in 2011. This may account for some of the increase, but we also know that many more people are now homeless due to the economy, lack of affordable housing, and the myriad personal issues that contribute to homelessness.”

He said the January 27 census was not a definitive count or representation of all persons experiencing homelessness in our region, but was a “a snapshot of what we can best assess around the same time each year.”

The results enable the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to better understand the national scope and to allocate funding to address solutions, Callstrom said.

San Diego was broken down into eight areas, so no figure was available for just Rancho Bernardo and La Jolla.

La Jolla was part of the northern section, including Bay Park, Carmel Valley, Clairemont, Del Mar Heights, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Torrey Pines and University City.

In that area, 622 people were seen homeless, including 392 in vehicles and 78 in hand-built structures, figures indicate.

On the positive side, no homeless people were seen in Ramona this year, according to task force figures (attached). And the northeastern part of San Diego including Rancho Bernardo had only five homeless people, including four living out of vehicles, the task force found.

Homeless counts for other Patch communities:

  • Carlsbad had 55, including an estimated four in vehicles and six in hand-built structures.
  • Coronado had 36, including an estimated 32 in vehicles.
  • Encinitas had 39, including an estimated 30 in vehicles and 10 in hand-built structures.
  • Imperial Beach had 13, including an estimated 10 in vehicles.
  • Lemon Grove had 24, including an estimated six in vehicles and 10 in hand-built structures.
  • Oceanside had 481, including an estimated 68 in vehicles and 18 in hand-built structures.
  • Poway had seven, with none seen living in cars.
  • Santee had 26, including an estimated 16 in vehicles and two in hand-built structures.
  • Spring Valley had 51, including an estimated 12 in vehicles and 18 in hand-built structures.
Vincent Wallgren, Jr. April 08, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Inclusive in the loooong list of ironies, Craig, is mostly one form or another of government restriction on houses of worship (not licensed to provide first aid, food, sanitary services, etc.; and more than likely zoning restrictions as well) from being the good Samaritans their parish members are called to be. To me, the state of homelessness in America—the "richest" and "most powerful" nation on earth—is truly embarrassing. Wake up, people. Your government(s) are incapable of "fixing" anything.
Super Terrific Response April 08, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Add another item to this short list of "ironies": citizens who feel that government should fix everything. I for one do not want more government intrusion in every aspect of American life. Andrew
your everyday citzen April 08, 2012 at 03:58 PM
We're not made of money as we're expecting our 2nd child in a couple months. But there's a roof over our heads. What can I do for $5-$10 a month for these 40 homeless in La Mesa and 51 in Spring Valley?
Vincent Wallgren, Jr. April 08, 2012 at 04:24 PM
your everyday citizen: I'd suggest to giving old clothing, blankets, sanitary items and what home prepared foods (fruit, salads, sandwiches) that are the most nutritional. Money is always an option but, sadly, could be used for items that would further worsen their situation. God bless you.
Kevin George April 09, 2012 at 06:13 PM
I noticed that Larry, La Mesa's number one scourge, is being shown as the poster boy for the Coronado article also. I think in all fairness Coronado should be treated to his presence for a while, I'll bet he would like it there.


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