San Diego County in California is currently facing an ever-growing homeless problem and the city of Oceanside is one of the most affected zones in the nation. In just the span of a year (2015 – 2016), the one-day annual count for homeless people in Oceanside went from 158 to 392.
To address the issue, the local police department, the city, and officials associated with tourism in the area are about to host a forum. Let’s take a closer look at the situation to understand what exactly is going on in Oceania.
The Working Homeless Population
Contrary to popular belief, the folks that most of us see sitting on the side of the road, affected by psychological issues and drug abuse, are not the only ones sleeping without a roof over their head. Healthy, working individuals who work minimum pay jobs often end up on the street as well because they can’t pay the rent. Even those who can pay the rent with a major portion of their wages may end up on the streets when there’s a medical or other emergency that eats into their already insufficient income.
San Diego is a Hotspot for the Homeless
San Diego County is a beach community and therefore the homeless are easily attracted to the pleasant climatic conditions which make living on the outside easier. According to locals, the number of vagrants dwindles during the winter, but the number of homeless people who show up again during the summer months is increasing with each passing year. Some locals have cited an odd behavioral pattern where some of the addicts and those that are not of sound mind refuse help or assistance from anyone and even exhibit negative reactions to such attempts. On the other hand, according to social services, the number of homeless men and women seeking sustenance, shelter and even therapy have increased exponentially over the years.
The Help They Really Need
Handing out money to someone on the street can backfire, as many of them suffer from drug addictions and they could end up using that money to buy more of the substance that they are addicted to. Directly buying food and supplies for a homeless person has been found to be a comparatively better choice, but even that is not a long-term solution. Helping the homeless through dedicated organizations by donating to them and volunteering at their facilities in San Diego is the best way for those willing to make a difference in the county.
It is estimated that the 2016 – 2017 one day annual count will show a more rapid increase in the homeless population within the city. Prominent members of the community agree that regular citizens will have to step up and put in some volunteer work and donations, as the efforts of the city and the police department alone will probably not be enough to bring the situation under control.