Help is on the way

by on August 4, 2016


Homelessness is a difficult challenge for many urban neighborhoods including Hillcrest. Homeless people act in anti-social ways and drive away your customers. Homeless people are drawn to Hillcrest because of the proximity of the neighborhood to Balboa Park, the local hospitals and the generous nature of the neighborhood. As a business owner, the last thing you want to do is have to deal with a problematic homeless people. This brochure is designed to help you better engage with this population and prevent them from disrupting your business.

The Hillcrest Business Association provides a variety of security services that you can take advantage of. Depending on where your business is in the neighborhood, you have differing levels of services that you can take advantage of. Below is a list of steps and best management practices you can take to secure your business.

  1. Call the Hillcrest Security Patrol

Recently the HBA increased its security patrol service to businesses. Depending on where your business is you can take advantage of different levels of service. The HBA has contacted with Citywide Security Services. Citywide has experience dealing with the anti-social behavior of homeless individuals and can take legal steps to make them relocate to more appropriate areas.

If your business is in the heart of Hillcrest (within about three blocks of the Hillcrest Sign) the patrol is available between the hours of 10am and 6pm every day.

The nighttime patrol occurs throughout the entire neighborhood and is designed to disrupt homeless people’s sleeping habits. If you know a place where homeless people frequently sleep, you can have that location added to the nuisance area list. To have your location added to the list call the HBA at 619-299-3330.

Hillcrest Business Association security guard at 619.938.2333

Remember, as always, don’t hesitate to call 911 if you feel threatened. Also, if you see a crime in progress call 911. Police deployment is based on the number of 911 calls that are generated in a neighborhood, so the more legitimate calls the better. The number for the police non-emergency line is 619 -531-2000.

  1. How can I be effective when I calL THE POLICE?

When you call the police, Hillcrest Homeless Outreach Program or the HBA security guard, making an accurate description is critical to getting attention. Before you call, make some notes about the person you’re calling about. Answer the following questions:

What is the person wearing?

What color is the clothing?

Are they wearing a hat?

What color is their hair and skin?

Do they have facial hair?

How tall are they?

Then think about what the person is doing. Are they yelling? Are they sitting or standing? Are they walking in a particular direction? Think about these things before you call. Finally, think about why you’re calling!

  1. What about trash and messes relating to homeless people?

The Hillcrest Business Association has cleaning crews out every day in the neighborhood. It doesn’t take much for us to schedule a cleaning crew to deal with any messes related to homeless people. If you see any mess (no matter how gross) you can

call the HBA at 619-299-3330. Businesses can call at no cost! Remember, we can deal with one off emergency issues on your property, but we can’t clean every issue.

  1. Complete an San Diego Police Department Hillcrest Business Association Letter of Agency

The Police Department will not enforce the law on your property without your permission. Having an SDPD Letter of Agency on file with the HBA will mean that if the SDPD is called to your property, they’ll enforce the law. Also, the HBA’s security staff will be able to disrupt behavior of homeless people on your property. Go to fill out an letter of agency.

Another way you can secure your property or business is to hire additional security. Many businesses hire their own security. The HBA can’t be responsible for private property. However, if you hire the same company as the HBA to patrol your property your dollar will go much further because your service will coordinate with the neighborhood service. If you’d like to hire Citywide Protection services to patrol your property, please call them at  619.750.4542

  1. Don’t give money or food to panhandlers.

We’ve all seen homeless people panhandling on the sidewalk and asked ourselves what we could do to help. There are a wide variety of programs that are designed to help the homeless, from food kitchens and shelters to job programs and medical care. Many homeless people are addicted to drugs, alcohol or other chemicals. When given cash “hand outs” on the streets that money usually goes to purchase alcohol. Food donations, while marginally better, continue this culture of dependence and encourage more panhandling. By giving away food you encourage continued panhandling and the problems associated with it.

If you see a homeless person panhandling the best way to help them is to donate regularly to one of the following homeless service providers:

Becky’s House (619) 239 3164

If your business has left over food, then the best use of those food items is to donate them to the following food banks rather than simply giving the food away on the street.

HBA SECURITY NUMBER : 619.938.2333

Emergency? Call 911

SDPD For 24-hour non-emergencies: 619-531-2000 or 858-484-3154

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