A Republican mayor in California has completely eliminated the homeless population in his city, despite the state having 30% of the entire country’s homeless population.
Richard Bailey, the mayor of Coronado, has reinforced a no-encampment policy in his city which now reports the lowest homeless population in the state.
Speaking to Fox News anchor Ashley Strohmier, Bailey discussed the policies that he has put in place in his city and how he avoids the mistakes other California cities are making in regard to the homeless crisis that has taken hold of the state.
“The policies that are in place at the regional and statewide level that are tolerating this type of behavior that is personally destructive and also destructive to the surrounding communities are really enabling this situation to increase throughout our entire state, and throughout our entire region,” said Bailey.
“Changing these policies will actually have a major impact,” he added, speaking from his own experience.
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The city of Coronado works closely with the local police force and a homeless service provider to force the homeless population to either get the help they need or move out of the city. They also fund “reasonable” services to help people get “back on their feet.”
“We want to see people get help,” Bailey told Strohmier. “And we’re willing to fund reasonable services, shelter spaces that can help accommodate that.”
However, Bailey has enforced a strict no-tolerance policy for municipal code violations.
“We also make it very clear that we don’t tolerate encampments along our sidewalks, and we don’t tolerate other code violations such as being drunk in public or urinating in public or defecating in public,” Bailey said. “We just simply don’t tolerate these basic code violations. What ends up happening is an individual either chooses to get help or they end up leaving.”
“The fact of the matter is that, although there are a myriad of reasons that people end up homeless, they eventually only fall into two camps – those that want help and those that do not want help,” Baily continued. “And if those that are refusing to get help shouldn’t be granted… the ability to break laws such as tent encampments on the sidewalk or urinating or defecating in public.”
Coronado has emerged as a shining example in addressing homelessness, and its efforts are gaining recognition. Unlike other cities that permit tent encampments on sidewalks, we prioritize getting help as the only choice.
Let's adopt this approach across San Diego! pic.twitter.com/AKsjDShOV2
— Richard Bailey (@RichardPBailey_) March 2, 2023
Bailey also appeared on Good Morning San Diego, where he highlighted the importance of recognizing the failures going on within the state to eradicate homelessness and then trying to approach the problem with new, fresh solutions.
“In order to make progress, we have to first acknowledge and be willing to speak the truth – that the current approach to homelessness, the policies at the regional and statewide level have largely been a failure,” said Bailey.
“We’re really failing two different populations. We’re failing all of us that want to be able to take our kids to a park and not have to worry about them stepping on a needle. We’re failing all of us that want to be able to walk outside our home and not have to worry about stepping on human waste. We’re failing all of us that want to be able to go downtown and be able to enjoy a ball game and walk to the ball game without having to walk in the middle of the street to avoid all the tent encampments. But we’re also failing the homeless population.”
Our current approach to the homeless issue is failing all of us that want to safely enjoy clean public spaces AND the homeless by enabling a personally destructive lifestyle. We all deserve better. pic.twitter.com/qUdimp72rz
— Richard Bailey (@RichardPBailey_) February 23, 2023