barrio logan

Parents Concerned Over Homeless Camps Steps Away From Barrio Logan School

"They do ask ‘Mom, why is he there, why is he doing that? ..." one parent said, explaining tough questions she's had with her children

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Some parents in Barrio Logan are concerned about their children's safety because of several homeless encampments that have been set up right across the street from Our Lady’s Catholic School.

“I think they have to do something about it because I really don’t feel safe bringing my kids when I see homeless people around here. I mean, who knows what they’re up to," Carlo Ramirez said.

Wednesday morning, parents escorted their children to school as several homeless men walked on nearby sidewalks. There are clearly visible unsanitary conditions in the area.

The encampments, located near the 1700 block of Kearney Avenue, are on state property just under Interstate 5. A spokesperson for Caltrans told Telemundo 20 it has a sweep of the area planned.

In October, the city of San Diego announced it was partnering with Caltrans and several agencies to offer outreach assistance to the homeless. The problem is many in the unsheltered population say the services are inadequate and refuse to use them.

"This is just a band-aid. This hasn't solved anything other than to clean up the sidewalk and street a little bit," homeless advocate Michael McConnell told NBC 7's Artie Ojeda.

This week a spokesperson for the city said only seven people accepted shelter services after outreach teams offered assistance to more than 100 unsheltered people in the Midway District.

On Tuesday, city crews conducted a cleanup operation of the encampments on Sports Arena Boulevard, sweeping away trash. But within hours, people were back at the encampments setting up tarps and tents.

A similar cleanup operation happened on Commercial Street in Barrio Logan, less than a mile from Our Lady’s Catholic School.

“It’s the same issue. You take everything away, they will come back,” said Kevin Orozco, who brought his children to school.

“I think what they should do is try to put them in a place where they can get help, not just move them away from the street. They’re going to migrate from one place to another,” said Dyana Navarro.

Navarro said the school and other parents have expressed compassion for the plight of the homeless population. Nonetheless, she’s forced to have serious conversations with her children.

“They do ask ‘Mom, why is he there, why is he doing that? Mom, why is the guy doing what he’s doing? Why is he yelling? Why is she screaming at us?’ To be honest with you, I just tell them they’re just special. We can’t say anything negative about them, because at the end, like I said, they’re human beings,” said Navarro.

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