Shel­ter clears home­less in­frac­tions for free stays

Antelope Valley Press - - NEWS -

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Home­less peo­ple fac­ing a ticket or ar­rest by San Diego po­lice could have the in­frac­tions cleared if they agree to stay for 30 days in one of the city’s shel­ters, ac­cord­ing to a news­pa­per re­port.

The pro­gram could help sta­bi­lize lives and get peo­ple con­nected with ser­vices, while also al­low­ing of­fi­cers to en­force laws on the street, San Diego po­lice Capt. Scott Wahl told the Union-Tri­bune.

The San Diego Po­lice Depart­ment launched a neigh­bor­hood polic­ing divi­sion in 2019 that in­cludes out­reach teams and of­fi­cers who en­force qual­ity-of-life laws that of­ten in­volve home­less peo­ple.

Last sum­mer, po­lice be­gan of­fer­ing shel­ter beds in lieu of ci­ta­tions to home­less peo­ple who had been con­tacted for en­croach­ment, il­le­gal lodg­ing, lit­ter­ing or other mi­nor in­frac­tions. But while about 300 peo­ple took the of­fer, many of them left the shel­ter within a day or two, Wahl said.

The re­vised ap­proach still of­fers shel­ter beds in lieu of ci­ta­tions, but now if some­body leaves the shel­ter be­fore 30 days, the in­frac­tions will be en­forced, the news­pa­per said.

“We’re all try­ing to do our part in end­ing home­less­ness, and we want to do it in a way that’s com­pas­sion­ate, but also has ac­count­abil­ity,” he said.

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