In south west Chula Vista we have aging parks which need updating. Additionally, we also have homeless taking over some of our parks. I have been working to clear out the homeless and to give the parks back to our residents. The strategy requires several steps. First we have to provide more lighting in our parks. Lighting seems to drive the homeless out at night. we also need to provide a reason for the community to go to the parks, which means we need to make sure we provide amenities that the community is seeking in our parks.
What I am doing
Lauderbach Park – The city has contracted out for the design of a lighted soccer field at Lauderbach Park. This new field will do several things. First it will drive the community to the park. The heavy use, coupled with night lighting will drive the homeless out, which will make the park feel safer, which will draw more people through out all hours of the park’s operating hours.
The second thing I have done, is to reopen the recreation center at that park. We will have two different non-profits operating from that facility. those non-profits are: South Bay Community Services (SBCS) and Love Thy Nieghbor.
SBCS will be providing the following services:
Youth Drop-in center
- Tutoring/Academic Assistance
- Job Readiness and career Exploration
- Post-Secondary Education Services
- Character Development
Resident Leadrship Academy
- HUB for community residents
- Community Engagement Activities
Family Stabilization Services
- Food for Families
- Rental and Housing Assistance
- Job Preparation
- Tax Preparation
and many more services.
Love Thy Neighbor is a non-profit that is creating change through community-driven art initiatives. Love Thy Neighbor currently serves over 10,000 people in need annually including senior citizens, students, inmates, immigrants, refugees, orphanages, and homeless in San Diego and Tijuana.
These two non-profits are a great fit at Lauderbach parks. This park sits in the middle of District 4 which makes it very accessible to every member of the community.
The Harborside neighborhood and park is an area that my office spends a lot of it’s time. We work closely with the elementary school, the community and area businesses.
The location of the park lends itself to attracting the homeless. It is somewhat hidden from residential and it is behind several big box stores like Walmart and Costco. Residents do not feel safe going to the park. The restrooms are used to shoot up drugs and other illicit activities. To cut down on some of those activities we pushed to have the full length stalls in the restrooms cut in half so that criminal activity could be more easily exposed. Next we added remote video cameras which police officers can view through their city provided cell phones. This allows our police officers to monitor the area without having to actually drive through the area. Since the city police force is so low staffed, this video system creates an efficient way for our PD to keep an eye on the area. I am currently working to slowly remove the gazebo. The gazebo is mainly used by the homeless and with the gazebo being the gateway to the park, residents do not feel safe walking through that area. Removing the gazebo eliminates the shade, which the homeless use all day.
Recreational Drone Park
I will be working with city staff to make Harborside Park a recreational drone park where recreational pilots can fly drones. The plan is to keep the park open at night where drone racing would occur. Racing is typically done at night.