Homeless assaults ramp up in San Diego, leftist mayor offers idiotic solution
Every solid blue city has its horrors -- from murders in Chicago to organized thievery in San Francisco.
In San Diego, where I live, the problem is homeless attacks. Seems the homeless aren't just unsightly, unsanitary, or famous spreaders of disease, they're dangerous, and when you have a lot of them, you have a lot of unprovoked random assaults on law-abiding residents. The problem is out there, and too bad for those who don't like it. San Diego's new leftist mayor, Todd Gloria, is de facto advising the victims that he's going to create more of it.
Here's the local NBC News report:
[Resident Aislinn] Fava [aged 31] was walking along Broadway between 4th 3rd avenues to grab a smoothie in the middle of the afternoon when a homeless man ran up from behind her and punched her in the back of the head, slamming her into the ground. She said he punched her a second time and tried to steal her purse before police arrested him. Giovanni Moore, 31, is now in jail and facing criminal charges for battery and robbery.
“The thing that really freaks me out the most is that there really wasn’t anything I could do to prevent it,” Fava said. “I couldn’t have seen in coming. I didn’t exchange words with this guy. Nothing. It was so bizarre, so random, that’s kind of the freakiest part.”
Fava shared her experience on social media and the comments came flooding in. Below are just a few examples:
“…East village is a war zone for women. I had an incident near Albertsons last year. I pepper sprayed him to get him off of me…”
“…I work on India St and I have seen so much aggressive behavior from them such as dancing with a knife and wielding it at people…”
“…I had a homeless woman charge at me, screaming obscenities..."
The same week of Fava's attack, a City Heights surveillance camera captured the moment a homeless man struck another man from behind with a skateboard. Police say the suspect did it again to another random victim just minutes later.
Which is pretty hellish, given that homes in the vicinity now run at about a million dollars a pop, though they're pretty ordinary to look at. Not surprisingly, the residents are complaining. Good luck with that.
Gloria, billed by the press as a man of historic "firsts," -- first gay mayor, first Latino mayor -- but in reality, first crazy radical wokester leftist mayor, is telling the residents how to handle it:
"For those individuals who raise up the issue of homelessness as a concern, I'd ask them to be a part of the solution," Gloria said. "I'd ask them to participate in the efforts. We have to build more housing. We need to have more shelter beds. That's something communities often struggle with accepting."
Is he insane? It's the very presence of shelter beds and social service treatment centers, which have proliferated in San Diego, which makes it so easy to be homeless and out and about on the prowl. Gloria in fact has requested $10 million for more homeless services, doing his best to catch up with San Francisco.
Gloria seems to think that more homeless shelters in residential neighborhoods are actual solutions -- hence, his arch little statement tailored to lefties that they should be "part of the solution" by welcoming in more homeless shelters to their neighborhoods.
It's a stunning kind of statement because it goes against all that is already known about the nature of homelessness and crime.
Back in 1993, I recall that a key finding, published in City Journal in those days, was that the angry Upper West Siders in New York were inundated by social service agencies bringing in the homeless which was very precisely linked to the upsurge in crime at the time. As a result, the locals there surprised everyone by electing Rudy Giuliani. (I can't find the link, but I got that assignment as a student at Columbia journalism school from Professor Robin Reisig, and would never have heard of it otherwise).
Gloria's logic is utterly absurd, completely against historic experience, and frankly counterproductive. He sounds like Joe Biden actually, in his absence of a relationship to reality.
He seems to think that the problems associated with chronic homelessness are merely based on not having a home, with that at the root of it, buying a homeless person some kind of home will actually fix it.
In reality, chronic homelessness is a symptom, not a problem itself. The reality is, particularly with those homeless inclined to crime, that it involves drugs. Drug treatment centers in residential neighborhoods with the homeless allowed to move about freely in their off-hours is a recipe for crime waves and new victims.
Does he recognize that many of these random assaults described above look like marijuana-induced psychosis? Lovely thing, that pot legalization, which is now all over the city. Lovelier still, all the drugs rolling in with Joe Biden's open border policies, which allow in all comers. Drugs are reported to be flooding the country now, and San Diego at the border is right there at the intake.
Not only are shelters the problem, so is the other issue, which is that many homeless resist using shelters. They gather to use certain social services, but only those to the extent that they help perpetuate their drug-fueled lifestyle.
Has Gloria not learned that many homeless resist living in shelters based on their restrictions to drug use? Those rules are there to preserve safety for other homeless clients, though it doesn't always work out that way, and shelters typically remain dangerous places.
San Francisco decided to dispense with that rule and allow its shelters and hotels to become open-air drug bazaars, complete with drug deliveries to homeless residents sheltered at ritzy hotels such as the Mark Hopkins, and well, got a lot of kicked out walls, and plenty of OD deaths. Apparently, that idiocy has been stopped.
Claiming that shelters are a solution is nonsense. Drug addicts need huge labor-intensive treatment, with constant surveillance and continuous hand-holding, and there isn't enough of that to go around, nor is there anyone responsible when the homeless in shelters go out to commit crimes. To set up more shelters, even with an expanded 9 to 5 social-worker force of 300 as Gloria proposes, only encourages more homelessness and more crime.
Gloria seems unaware of chronic homeless dynamics and the knowledge that has come of years of observation, which typically, is that homeless people gather around a drug dealer and revolve their lives around paying him in order to obtain more drugs.
His argument to residents that they take in more homeless shelters and import more homeless into their neighborhoods as a means of keeping down crime is not only invincibly ignorant, it's downright outrageous. San Francisco, which spends more money on homeless "services" than it does police, is a textbook case that throwing public money at a problem not only doesn't work, it creates more of it. You can have all the poverty you'd like to pay for, as economist Thomas Sowell has quipped.
Gloria also blamed the problem on the pandemic, which is another lie, given that the homeless issues -- from hepatitis to bums eating food off people's tables in street cafes (most in North Park have since installed clear barriers now) have been going on for a long time. Here's a San Diego Reader piece from pre-shutdown 2019 describing the locals' defensive reactions to the onslaught of crime-inclined homeless.
Will the local victims finally wake up and recognize that government cannot solve this problem by throwing money at it? It's hard to think they won't keep resisting homeless shelters in their neighborhoods no matter what Gloria and his crew say, as it's gone on so long with so little resolution that they might just not buy it anymore. But it's hard to turn a lefty.
As for Gloria, he's new, but he's already on the runway to join other failed blue city mayors for the ongoing derby of which failed mayor -- Portland, Minneapolis, Chicago, Washington, Baltimore, New York, Seattle -- is the worst.
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