San Diego

Logan Heights Parents Upset with Plans for Homeless Storage Facility Going Right Next to a School

Parents in Logan Heights tonight are upset and concerned after the San Diego City Council approved a homeless storage center right next to a school.

They say the homeless are already a problem in their community, and fear that things are about to get worse.

To give you an idea of the homeless population’s impact on the neighborhood, the principal at Our Lady's School, Noel Bishop, says the playground on campus hasn't been used in three years.

The city recently approved a 500-bin homeless storage center on 20th Street just 15 feet away, which could draw more homeless people to that area around the school.

Parents are calling the decision downright disrespectful and dangerous for the kids.

One parent explained to NBC 7 how her children were subjected to an early biology lesson while they played outside the school, courtesy of two apparently homeless people.

“We see things we shouldn’t,” Maria Diez said. “I’m an adult and we see two people doing something that I know and my kids are like ‘Mom, why are they naked on the stairs?’"

Diez, along with other parents and residents, are furious the San Diego City Council approved the storage center. 

Cheri Hall lives across the street from the campus. She says she has a heart for the homeless, but blames Mayor Kevin Faulconer for championing this initiative too close to a school.

“He's literally putting us in hell -- literally putting us in the line of danger. The kids, how can they protect themselves?”

Security will be provided within a one block radius of the storage center, according to city officials.

The mayor also noted that he's mandating increased police patrols in the area. All in an effort to keep the community safe and get clutter off the street while providing the homeless a safe place to put their belongings while going to work, school or accessing certain services.

“We know one of the things that keeps homeless from getting back on their feet is the fear of losing their property,” Mayor Faulconer said.

Parents and the principal say they're not anti-homeless. In fact, they often participate in service projects to help them.

But there's concern that when this storage facility opens no sooner than June 13 they won't know who's coming in and out, and what type of record they may have.

City officials say for the first 90 days there will be a referral system.

Bishop says the school is considering hiring additional security if they can afford it.

He and other teachers are concerned the 80-student school will have to eventually shut down because concerned parents will send their children to other schools.

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