San Diego's Homeless Facing Ticket or Arrest Could Have Infractions Cleared If They Stay at Shelter

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Tents sheltering homeless people line a residential street in Los Angeles on Dec. 9, 2019. (Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Tents sheltering homeless people line a residential street in Los Angeles on Dec. 9, 2019. (Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Homeless people facing a ticket or arrest by San Diego police could have the infractions cleared if they agree to stay for 30 days in one of the city’s shelters.

The program could help stabilize lives and get people connected with services, while also allowing officers to enforce laws, San Diego police Capt. Scott Wahl  told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Last summer, police began offering shelter beds in lieu of citations to homeless people who had been contacted for minor infractions like encroachment, illegal lodging or littering.

The new incentive is a revision of that effort.

But while about 300 people took the offer, many of them left within a day.

Wahl told the Union-Tribune that 67% of people who took the offer to avoid citations left after just one day and appeared to have had no intention of staying sheltered.

If somebody leaves before 30 days, the citations will be enforced, police say.

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