Homeless Sweeps

A “Sweep” is when the police, and often other public employees, go into a particular area of town and remove every homeless person.  That usually also includes destroying and confiscating whatever personal possessions and structures the homeless have placed there.   The area may be just one city block, or several.  It can also be a homeless encampment.   Although, I have yet to see a true homeless “camp” in San Diego.   Seems like the entire county has been paved over, and the only place for the homeless to sleep is on concrete sidewalks.

Well, when I finally decided go to sleep for the night (at midnight), I walked to the place where I’d been sleeping since I got to town, (7th and Fst) and found it completely deserted.  For the past week, this had been my one place to sleep.  It was the first place I found to be safe enough to attempt outdoor sleeping.  There was safety in being near the other homeless people there.   Now, with absolutely no other homeless person around for several blocks, I had to find another place.  Being alone in this place would make me vulnerable to street predators, and, as well, the cops could still be checking the area to chase off any other potential sleepers.

On the off chance that the sweep occurred because I wrote about sleeping there, I will no longer divulge the locations of my sleeping places.  But the place I slept at last night is a good place, where other’s are sleeping, and they were all very quiet.  I was able to sleep until 5am.

To be fair, the sweep could have happened for other reasons, perhaps a good citizen who walked by the area late at night decided to report it, or because the Chargers are playing a home game on Monday Night Football, the city decided to clean up the visible homeless, throw everyone in jail until after the game is over.    One thing is certain, it was a sweep.  And that means displacing the homeless, and making their lives more difficult still.


About Kevin Barbieux

I have been diagnosed as being chronically homeless. I write about my experiences and opinions of being homeless
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