This blog was recently mentioned in a San Diego Reader article about Hepatitis A in the homeless population. It lists me as a homeless man. While I was still homeless at the time the reporter contacted me, I am not male.
It also quotes me as saying “The outbreak was completely predictable — it's why I left San Diego.” This is a fabricated quote. I never said that. The exchange was via email. I have a written record of it.
Some things I actually said to this reporter which may have inspired the made up quote:
I wanted to vote against the bag ban, but failed to manage to vote due to being homeless.
I was in downtown San Diego for about six months. I then went to La Jolla for a while and later to the North County. I spent a bit over 3 years total homeless in various parts of San Diego County. I also had a class on Homelessness and Public Policy at San Francisco State years before I became homeless. As part of that class, I did an internship at the homeless shelter in Vacaville.
If it matters to you, let me tell you up front I left San Diego County over two years ago and I left California yesterday/today. I was still in the Fresno area and still homeless when the bag ban began.
So, no, my departure from San Diego was not related to the bag ban. Though the fact that the bag ban was passed was a factor in my decision to leave the state entirely. I think it is a very problematic policy and especially burdensome for the poorest of the poor: those who are without housing.
But, yes, I did feel ahead of time that the bag ban was a bad idea. This is why I wanted to vote against it. No, I did not psychically predict that it would specifically cause or exacerbate a hepatitis outbreak amongst the homeless.
However, I am also not shocked by this turn of events. It certainly does not surprise me to see the passage of the bag ban followed promptly by bad health news in the homeless community.
As stated previously, the author of this blog is no longer homeless. I left California earlier this month and managed to rent a cheap room.