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City Scrounges Together Funding for Winter Homeless Shelter

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Aired 4/19/09

The city of San Diego has come up with about a half a million dollars to pay for a homeless shelter this winter. Budget cuts had threatened the shelter. KPBS reporter Andrew Phelps has more.

The city can't afford a year-round homeless shelter so, each year, officials scrounge together enough cash for a temporary winter shelter.

Mayor Jerry Sanders vetoed city funding for the shelter earlier this month, but now he's announced a new way to pay for the project. A city real estate deal, plus a big donation from United Way, has raised just enough money for the shelter this year.

Bob McElroy is head of the Alpha Project, a nonprofit that operates the facility.

McElroy : Everybody's suffering. I know lots of people that work in the city -- city employees that are losing their jobs because of budget cuts and the lack of money that's there. So obviously that trickles down to the have-nots.

McElroy says the shelter will house and feed 216 people at a time.

Andrew Phelps, KPBS News.

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