The city ordinance, which passed in 2023, allows police to enforce camping laws at transit hubs, parks or within two blocks of a school or shelter, regardless of whether beds are available.

For many, it's additional stress on already difficult lives.

"It is a problem, you know, because moving it every day and putting it back up, then you got to move again is stress on me."

"People wouldn't treat their children like this. I mean, we don't want to be like this. We're trying to take care of ourselves."

Opponents of the measure say it allows politicians who failed to provide affordable housing to resort to police force.

The debate reflects growing urgency, as polls show homelessness and affordable housing as two of the most important issues to California voters.

The state has spent more than $20 billion on housing and homelessness programs since the 2018-2019 fiscal year but still has more than 180,000 homeless people.

"This bill is not designed to be a cure-all for homelessness in California."

California Republican state Senator Brian Jones says the bill is designed to be "public safety oriented," indicating that it would protect the public from, quote, "the fear of intimidation of a homeless encampment."

Democratic state Senator Catherine Blakespear, the bill's co-author, says dealing with homelessness should be treated as an emergency while long-term housing solutions are pursued.

Michael McConnell, a San Diego-based advocate for the unhoused, says the enforcement strategy has merely chased people elsewhere, as the number of shelter beds still fails to meet demand.

"We're not seeing a reduction in homelessness in San Diego, we're seeing a reduction in homelessness downtown San Diego, but a big increase on the outskirts of downtown. So what has that really done? Nothing."

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to weigh in.

It's scheduled to hear arguments on April 22 in a case from Oregon that may determine the legality of enforcing anti-camping laws and other regulations affecting homeless people.

A ruling is expected by the end of June.