Advocates Say Money Lacking For Storage Facility For Homeless
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Advocates for the homeless said today they're scrambling to come up with money for a facility where people who live on the streets in downtown San Diego can store their belongings.
Noor Kazmi, president of Girls Think Tank, a nonprofit that took over operations of the Homeless Storage and Check-in Facility in June, told the City Council's Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee that $45,000 is needed to run the center for the first six months of next year.
The facility is vacating its current location at Ninth Avenue and Broadway at the end this month because the city is about to start a low-income housing project on the site.
St. Vincent de Paul has offered a 4,000-square-foot lot on 17th Street, between Imperial Avenue and Commercial Street. The sloped property needs improvements before it can be used, so there could be a transition period of a few weeks where the homeless won't have a place to store their belongings, Kazmi told City News Service.
Homeless people have stuff, too, Councilman Todd Gloria said.
"It actually weighs these people down and perpetuates the cycle of homelessness because you can't go to a job interview with all your worldly possessions on your back -- who's going to hire you?'' said Gloria, who offered $10,000 in funding from his office.
The report on the center was for informational purposes only, so the committee itself took no action.
Kazmi said between 75 and 125 people per shift -- weekday mornings, weekday evenings and Saturday mornings -- store their bedding and other possessions at the facility.
San Diego police Assistant Chief Boyd Long said the center has made a big difference in keeping downtown sidewalks clear.
Donations by the public can be made online at girlsthinktank.org, according to Kazmi.
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