As East Village gentrifies, it’s becoming home to a mix of new condo owners and a swelling homeless population.
Dozens of tents and packed shopping carts line sidewalks and underpasses in gentrifying East Village. Homeless men and women, some of who have lived here for years and others more recently, gather for impromptu meals and overnight encampments.
Meanwhile, residents with often new condos and businesses look on, overwhelmed and unsure what to do. Many of them are new to the neighborhood, too.
Welcome to East Village, the front line of San Diego’s homelessness crisis.
Street homelessness is up countywide but the problem is growing at a particularly rapid clip here. The neighborhood’s homeless population has spiked nearly 80 percent – from about 480 to more than 865 – in the last year alone, according to a downtown business group’s monthly count.
Here’s a look at how much the unsheltered homeless population has grown in East Village in recent years – and how much this year’s growth is outstripping past trends.