In an internal memo to the Chief Administrative Officer, Helen Robbins-Meyer, Supervisor Joel Anderson, who represents East County communities of District 2, recently questioned if staff had looked into the possibility of establishing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the County and jurisdictions along the San Diego River, such as the San Diego River Park Foundation, and the Cities of San Diego and Santee. The goal of this MOU would be to address homelessness along the San Diego River.
In his memo, Anderson cites the recent MOU between the County and the East County cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, and Santee aimed at addressing homelessness from a regional perspective. Anderson wants County staff to build upon current collaborative efforts by partnering with local jurisdictions to assist those experiencing homelessness along the riverbed.
According to the San Diego River Park Foundation’s most recent homeless census, there are over 355 individuals experiencing homelessness along the riverbed with 43% of those individuals living in Anderson’s district.
“I’m looking from every angle on how we can best support staff in their efforts to combat homelessness,” stated Anderson. “I’m hoping that a partnership between the County and the jurisdictions along the river will help staff maximize the effectiveness of their existing efforts while implementing new innovative actions.”
Anderson’s memo comes to the CAO two days before the Board of Supervisors vote to explore creating a contiguous trail along the San Diego River for residents and visitors. “I see this Board action as an opportunity for the County to partner with jurisdictions to address homelessness, trash and fire risks, and health and safety along the riverbed,” shared Anderson.
As a potential funding source, Anderson offered the idea for County staff to explore the $500 million in Encampment Resolution Grants for local jurisdictions announced by Governor Newsom in his California Blueprint package.