No more "sleeping tickets"Sleeping on San Diego's public sidewalks and doorways at night will no longer earn you a ticket, the city announced yesterday as part of settling a lawsuit brought by homeless advocates.
Mayor Jerry Sanders, who in the past opposed creating homeless “free zones,” called it a “fair and equitable solution to a large societal problem.”
(Hmmm ... I can think of a few other cities -- you know who you are -- that should step up and take similar actions, without being bludgeoned into it by litigation. How about it, cities? )The city was largely forced into this decision after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April ruled that a Los Angeles ordinance barring sleeping on sidewalks was illegal when there weren't enough shelter beds. The San Diego lawsuit was filed in 2004 on similar grounds.
Tim Cohelan, lawyer for the homeless plaintiffs, said the real solution is more shelter beds to get the estimated 9,600 homeless in San Diego off the streets.
Read the San Diego Union Tribune article here.