Chula Vista

Chula Vista leaders hold town hall on growing homelessness in the city

Chula Vista City Council will bring up the Safe Sleeping Ordinance up for a final vote in the coming months

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It was a full house Saturday morning at the South Chula Vista Library. Dozens of residents came to voice their concerns about the growing number of people living on the city's streets.

"We want to make sure that we have the input from our community, listen to what their concerns are," said Chula Vista Mayor John McCann.

Residents received information from the Chula Vista Police Department about how to navigate the city's resources; whether it's reporting a crime or getting in touch with the right organizations.

"I have never seen as many — again, homelessness in the neighborhood change, as what I've seen in post-COVID," said Danyrea Megginson, a resident who has lived in Chula Vista since 2016.

"Ten years ago, we had very few homeless individuals in Chula Vista and then several years ago, we saw a ramp up and then over the last couple years we've seen a huge increase and it's not just Chula Vista, it's not just the county, and it's not just California. This is a major issue across the nation where we see increases in homelessness," McCann said.

She told NBC 7 that she is thankful that city leaders held the town hall to inform people about what's going on. But is enough being done to actually curb homelessness?

"I don't think it would be fair to say they have enough. Because what is enough? There can always be more," said Megginson.

Chula Vista is in the process of implementing a camping ban and Safe Sleeping Ordinance, mirroring the current law passed by the city of San Diego last year. It's part of a long-term solution that Mayor McCann is hoping will get more people off the streets, and into transitional or permanent housing.

"We're right now crafting it, we had unanimous support by the city council to bring it forward, and we're looking to have it come back in a couple months to be able to pass," said Mayor McCann.

Mayor McCann told NBC 7 that the city council will bring up the ordinance for a final vote in the coming months. Although he is hopeful that more resources will come from the state level, he and neighboring communities are collaborating on ideas to stem the growing homeless population.

"Homelessness is a regional issue, and we're partnering with the city of San Diego, Imperial Beach, National City, to be able to look at regional solutions for our homelessness," said Mayor McCann.

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