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Dec 7, 12:02 AM EST

'Most vulnerable' dying in 'America's Finest City'



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SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Like other West Coast cities, San Diego is confronting a homeless crisis.

Spiraling real estate values have contributed to spiraling homelessness, leaving more than 3,200 people living on the streets or in their cars.

Most alarmingly, the deplorable sanitary conditions help spread a liver-damaging virus that lives in feces, contributing to the deadliest U.S. hepatitis A epidemic in 20 years.

The result? Legions of Californians without shelter. A spreading contagion. And an extraordinary challenge to the city's sunny identity that threatens its key tourism industry.

Facing an acute shortage of housing for the poor, San Diego is turning to tents to get people off the streets for now.

The city diverted $6.5 million from its permanent housing budget to operate the giant tents.

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