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Cold, Wet Weather Prompts Veterans’ Shelter To Open Early

Audio

Aired 12/8/09

Rain has prompted Veterans Village of San Diego to open the winter shelter for homeless veterans tomorrow morning, instead of on Friday as planned.

The wet weather forced volunteers at the Winter Shelter in San Diego’s East Village to scramble. They placed sandbags strategically around the big tent that houses the homeless, to prevent a river of water from running through it.

The rain has also prompted Veterans Village of San Diego to open the winter shelter for homeless veterans tomorrow morning, instead of on Friday as planned.

Sailors will put up bunk beds today in the structure tent on Sports Arena Blvd. They’re hustling to get the veterans' shelter ready early, to get the vets in out of the rain.

Phil Landis, head of Veterans Village, says the city has kicked in its share of the costs, but VVSD has not been able to raise all the money needed to cover services at the shelter. They are about $50,000 short.

He says they’ve decided not to reduce the number of vets they’ll serve, and in fact, because of the rain. they’ll open early.

“Everyday when the weather’s like this, it makes a big difference.” Landis said. “We decided to open the shelter with the full complement of 150 beds and we’ll figure out how to pay for it later as we go along.”

Landis says 400 or 500 veterans cycle through the shelter. He says most are Vietnam vets but Veterans’ Village is seeing a growing number of vets who served in Iraq and Afghanistan seeking help.

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