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Question of the Week: More Homeless in Santee?

Homeless tend to congregate around the San Diego River, which cuts through Santee, and the trolley- Have you noticed a recent rise in the number of homeless in town?

. The recently renamed was chosen most, with the weekly closely trailing.

This week's question asks you to think about your surroundings and the people around you while you're driving, shopping and just going about your business around Santee. Have you noticed a ?

This touches on a , namely , addressed last April- the number of homeless in the city, . Voepel disagreed with the 2011 stats, contending that far less homeless reside in Santee, and demanded a recount.

Have a poll idea to pitch?  Shoot us a note at steven.bartholow@patch.com

Have more to say, or would you choose an option not available? Post a comment.

Jean October 28, 2011 at 08:20 PM
Authorities have to stay on top of the homeless in the riverbed. They get entrenched down there and think they have a "right" - if you had seen some of the ones that crawled up out of there, it is scary. Don't hike down there alone. Ever. The County needs to stay on top of clearing the vacant land they own and trimming the trees so they don't provide hiding places for encampments.
Melonie November 02, 2011 at 06:05 PM
Actually, Jean, they are working on just that and more. The trees are called Tamarisk and while they are providing very dense "hiding places", a more damaging aspect is they are displacing native trees such as cottonwood, willow and mesquite as well as transpiring (to lose water in the form of water vapour),up to 300 gallons of water..........a day Check it out here: http://www.nps.gov/whsa/naturescience/tamarisk.htm Feel free to get involved as they are always asking for volunteers, and your passion and concern for our cities well being shows. While the county is not necessarily providing hiding places, we as a community can work together in the clearing and removing of the invasive plants/trees making it less desirable for the homeless. To volunteer: 619.297.7380 http://www.sandiegoriver.org/calendar.php
Kathy November 07, 2011 at 08:55 PM
I know Randy Voepel will tell you that the Homeless population has not increased but that is because for him to admit it, would tarnish our City. Well, I have lived in Santee for over 30 years and in the past 12 months, there has been easily a 1000% increase in Homeless population. I know our economy has forced many to be homeless but the Trolley, I feel, is the biggest cause for it. When I go to Target or the stores in the area, I am approached 8 out 10 times by Homeless people begging for me. I even had a drunk guy threaten me. I have been approached at Costco, Walmart, Albertsons, Henry's, and McDonald's parking lots. There was a Homeless man at Cuyamaca and Woodglen Vista urinating in the middle of the street with his Home Depot shopping cart next to him. This is a residential area and there should NEVER be Homeless in this area, except that they may be attempting to rob a house or car. I now have no choice but to carry Pepper Spray with me at all times. I have heard that the Homeless are harmless, I beg to differ, many are drug addicts and drunks and they are too unpredictable. I have called the Santee Sheriff Station on many occasions and they do respond and will issue a citation but that does not remove them from our City. Due to budget cuts, our Sheriff Dept just doesn't have the man power to patrol all of Santee.
Pamila Christensen March 02, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Yes there are more homeless in Santee and I think we need to do something about it. We need a homeless shelter. A safe place for them to go were they can shower,sleep, wash their cloths and things, get hot meals and have a place to do stuff like play board game or read a book or go on-line etc. Safety for them is a big issue sense there are kids out there beating them up.
Pat March 02, 2013 at 01:18 AM
If you see them at intersections or shopping center entrances with their cardboard signs, panhandling for money, call the Sheriff's Dept. at 619-956-4000. It is illegal for them to be impeding traffic. So far, it hasn't been much of a problem but this is something we need to make sure we nip it in the bud. Because the alternative is for Santee to end up like Mission Valley, where there's panhandlers at almost every intersection, every single day. @Kathy, if you are being panhandled while at the Santee Town Center, I would recommend to immediately go to the nearby sheriff substation by the trolley. If they sheriffs keep an aggressive approach to them, their numbers at the center will dwindle.
Pat March 02, 2013 at 01:22 AM
There's two elements that will keep panhandlers away: 1) if no one gives them money. They'll go elsewhere where they can. 2) strong law enforcement These panhandlers talk to one another, and if word gets around in their subculture that Santee isn't a good place to go, because no one gives them money and the sheriffs are constantly after them, then our city will become a non-destination for them.
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