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La Jolla Town Council to address homeless issue

Homelessness in the Village will be on the agenda when the La Jolla Town Council meets at 5 p.m. on May 14 at La Jolla Rec Center.

“With budget cuts, people are concerned there are fewer services for the homeless,” said outgoing town council President Darcy Ashley, who will hand over the gavel at the meeting. “And I think there’s more of a presence with them right now, so people are expressing more concern.”

Representatives of San Diego Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team will give a presentation, with public discussion to follow.

Daisy Fitzgerald, manager of Ark Antiques For Animal Charities at 7643 Girard Ave., said homelessness has been an ongoing problem for merchants. “It’s something we’ve gotten used to,” she said.

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But she added that police have told the merchants there’s something new they can do to discourage vagrants--post “letters of agency” on their premises which give police the authority to arrest trespassers.

Sgt. Richard Schnell, supervisor of the San Diego Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team, said the team consists of three police officers, two Health and Human Services specialists and a two-person psychiatric emergency response team.

“My team only deals with chronic homelessness,” said Schnell, who added he will be discussing the difference between that population and the situational homeless population at the May 14 meeting. “We’re going to educate the community on when to call, what they can do to help,” he said.