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Permits Delay Opening Of Winter Shelter

— About 200 homeless people who might have spent Thanksgiving in San Diego’s winter homeless shelter instead spent the holiday out in the cold. The situation likely won’t change for another week.

The winter homeless shelter is usually open by Thanksgiving. But this year the city council didn’t decide on a location until November 3rd, pushing the opening back. The council settled on a building in Barrio Logan. Some council members felt an actual building would be better than the tent normally used. Bob McElroy is with the Alpha Project, which runs the shelter. He said the council’s decision required more permits than usual and that’s the hold-up.

“Right now the best we’ve got from the city is that possibly there will be a final inspection on the permits we’ve had to pull, demolition and things like that, by Wednesday, God willing, and Thursday morning we’d be open,” he said.

McElroy said his group has had to jump through more hoops this year. Though he said he doesn’t think anyone is willingly dragging their feet.

The shelter will have 220 beds and is expected to serve 800 people during the next four months. The coming week will bring cold nights with lows in the 40’s.

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