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San Diego Homeless Back On The Streets

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This week, San Diego’s Emergency Homeless Shelters will close. The Regional Task Force for the Homeless estimates more than 8,000 people are homeless in San Diego County - up from more then 7,000 last year.

This week, San Diego’s Emergency Homeless Shelters will close. The Regional Task Force for the Homeless estimates more than 8,000 people are homeless in San Diego County - up from more then 7,000 last year.

More than 300 people will lose their temporary beds this week when the city of San Diego’s tent downtown, and the Veterans' shelter tent in the Midway area close down.

Bob McElroy of the Alpha Project runs the city’s downtown winter shelter. He says more than 800 people came through the program this year and more than 200 found permanent housing. He says housing the homeless actually saves money.

“We’ve done the cost extrapolations,” he said, “and we’re going to save the taxpayer. Based on the $288,000 the city pays for the shelter, we’ve saved more than $3 million in indirect costs for emergency personnel, emergency rooms, that sort of thing.”

Rosemary Johnston of the Interfaith Shelter Network says regional shelters in the North County will also close their doors.

“We’re going to be seeing more people out in the streets, that’s for sure, creating more community concern,” Johnston said, “but maybe it can be a positive thing in terms of creating more energy for the city to move ahead on finding and funding the permanent shelter.”

The city of San Diego is considering two alternative proposals for a permanent intake facility that would find services to help homeless people year-round.

The Center City Development Corporation will contribute $10 million to a permanent facility, but it’s estimated that a new building would cost closer to $60 million.

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