Sleepless in San Diego Held at Liberty Station

Group says SD has a homeless population of some 10,000 people

By Joe Young and Chris Chan
|  Sunday, Sep 22, 2013  |  Updated 11:47 AM PDT

Nearly 350 people slept at Liberty Station Saturday evening into Sunday morning in an effort to raise awareness about homelessness in San Diego. 

Sleepless in San Diego is an annual event organized by the San Diego Rescue Mission which says that some 10,000 people in San Diego are without homes. They say it’s the third largest homeless population in the country. 

Beginning at around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, people gathered at Liberty Station with the goal of changing attitudes and increasing their understanding of what it means to be homeless. 

“They're not all alcoholics, they're not all drug infested,” said Herb Jonhson, of San Diego Mission Rescue, about the homeless population in San Diego. “Some of them are just down and out.” 

Participants at Saturday’s event constructed their own sleeping areas and shelters using items such as cardboard. 

The evening also included educational discussions and testimonials from people experiencing homelessness. 

Those sleeping at the station were asked to do so until 7 a.m. Sunday. 

Throughout San Diego, some may argue that there are those that choose a lifestyle of homelessness. Others say that doesn’t mean those without homes still don’t need help. 

Event attendee, Sandra Castillo, said that locals will have to focus more on the issue. 

“We can't just ignore them,” Castillo said. “It affects everybody, it says something about the community you live in, and the people in the community, that you either reach out or you don't.”