See also: pocketputer.com
I have decided to not develop this site further. For now, it will be left up because it does not cost me anything to do that. I do get notifications of comments and I do reply to those in most cases (or I delete them if they are spam). So, it isn't being entirely abandoned at this time. However, it is likely that it will eventually be removed from the internet.
There are two things driving the decision to stop updating it:
1. I was in the city of San Diego when I started the site. I was in the North County, which is what locals call the northern part of San Diego County, when I decided to make it a countywide resource. Then I left and went to Fresno. I never included Fresno specific resources. Instead, I began trying to write more generally useful information. My hope was to be helpful to homeless Americans generally, regardless of where in the US they lived.
So, the site started as very specific to a particular place and has gradually become less and less specific to that place, yet the place name is in the site name. The result is that people outside of San Diego routinely respond with the idea that this is not relevant to their needs because they aren't in San Diego.
This has been true for a while, but has become more obviously problematic now that I am living outside of California and reaching out to people locally. People and programs in Southwest Coastal Washington are especially resistant to the idea that this site is relevant to their needs because of its name.
Thus, I have plans to make a site that doesn't have a place name as part of its name. Trying to convince people that this site isn't just for people in San Diego seems like a huge time sink with little benefit. Just creating a new site without that issue seems like a better use of my time and energy.
2. People who are homeless take the site as a suggestion that they should move to San Diego. This was never my intention and the best solution seems to be to simply discontinue the site.
There are a number of problems with people seeing the existence of this site as encouragement to move to San Diego as a homeless person. They all bother me.
I was initially only aware of a couple of problems with it. Over time, the list in my mind has grown and has finally reached some kind of critical mass or tipping point.
First, it places additional burdens on local resources. I am not comfortable with making the nation's homeless problem a burden to be born primarily by California in general and San Diego County in specific.
Second, if you are poor, traveling a great distance can be a significant burden. I would rather help people find resources and solutions closer to where they currently live, for the most part, or encourage them to travel to a much wider variety of places than just one, if travel makes sense for them as part of their solution package.
Third, there is currently a deadly hepatitis outbreak in Southern California. It began in San Diego and has already spread as far north as Los Angeles. It is impacting the homeless population more than others. I feel it is incredibly irresponsible to promote the idea that homeless people should move to Southern California at this time, no matter how inadvertently I am doing that. The hepatitis outbreak means that being homeless down there is currently a potential death sentence. I don't want to end up feeling like I have someone's blood on my hands.
Fourth, the cost of housing in California is insane, so there basically isn't any affordable housing anywhere in California. It does not look like this will improve any time soon. So moving to California as a homeless person may well be a recipe for remaining homeless for years to come because the barrier to entry for housing is so high, and this seems unlikely to change.
Fifth, the dry, temperate weather that has historically made homelessness in San Diego County relatively tolerable may be a thing of the past. Recent weather in California has been generally both hotter and wetter. Some studies suggest that hotter, much wetter weather may be the new norm for California thanks to global warming.
Last, I have been spending more and more of my time trying to convince people that this site is not intended to encourage homeless people to move to San Diego. (In fact, my stance is that I would like to actively encourage homeless people and poor people to leave California.) I am at a point where I feel that is taking time away from actually writing about useful information. So, I think just starting over with a different site would be a better use of my time and energy than continuing to fight this uphill battle.
Another detail that makes me feel it is a good idea to move on is that Google put out new BlogSpot templates some months ago. Converting other blogs of mine to the new templates broke formatting. Trying to clean that up was eating a lot of my time while not fully resolving the problem. So other blogs of mine have recently been archived and replaced, in part for that reason.
I halfway expect Google to eventually do away with some or all of their old templates. I never changed this site to a new template. I would hate to feel forced into it. It just makes more sense to me to just start fresh in anticipation of old templates being discontinued at some point.