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San Diego Veterans Homeless Shelter Stays Open

Evening Edition

The San Diego veterans winter homeless shelter was scheduled to close this morning. But KPBS reporter Susan Murphy tells us, a last minute reprieve is keeping the doors open.

Aired 4/9/13 on KPBS News.

Nearly 150 San Diego veterans will have a bed to sleep on a little while longer. The cold-weather tent in the Midway District was slated to come down at 8 a.m. today, but got a last minute reprieve.

Nearly 150 San Diego veterans will have a bed to sleep on for a little while longer.

The San Diego veterans cold-weather tent on Sports Arena Blvd. was slated to come down at 8 a.m. today, but got a last-minute reprieve from Mayor Bob Filner who said he would try to find a way to keep the shelter open.

The issue of extending the veterans shelter came up last month after city officials announced a plan to spend $300,000 from a budget surplus to keep the city’s general population 220-bed winter shelter open for an additional three months. That shelter had been scheduled to close on April 1.

Homeless advocate David Ross, known as "Waterman Dave," said he met with Mayor Bob Filner on Saturday to urge him to keep the veteran's shelter open too.

“I took five of the veterans with me to plead with him to please recognize these 150 veterans as you’ve recognized the downtown population,” said Ross.

Ross said if the shelter closes, the veterans will lose a lifeline.

“They would all be under the bridges, under the underpasses, downtown in America’s finest city under the Imperial Bridge, or the commercial street bridge because they have no alternative.

One of those homeless veterans, Michael Peveto, said he was repeatedly robbed when he was sleeping on the streets. He said the shelter has given him security and access to medical, housing and employment assistance.

“One of the obstacles I’ve found is if you’re not addicted to drugs or alcohol, you have almost no resources at all," said Peveto.

Peveto said he’s on a two-year-long waiting list for permanent housing. In the meantime, he said he feels hopeful after meeting with Mayor Filner.

“He assured us that he was going to do everything in his power to make sure that we were able to stay," said Peveto.

The Veterans Village of San Diego is funding the shelter for two more weeks until the city makes a decision on whether or not to keep it open longer.

The veterans shelter is operated by the Veterans Village of San Diego and funded by $440,000 city and federal dollars. The shelter provides beds, meals, mental health counseling, employment assistance, housing services and medical referrals.

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Avatar for user 'laplayaheritage'

laplayaheritage | April 8, 2013 at 2:41 p.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

Please see the above link for our funding solution through today's City Council hearing Item S-400 Redevelopment (RDA) Successor Agency Appropriation of the State Department of Finance (DOF) Due Diligence Review (DDR) for the Low and Moderate Income Housing Funds (LMIHF). And below for the backup documentation.

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Avatar for user 'laplayaheritage'

laplayaheritage | February 19, 2014 at 9:40 a.m. ― 3 years, 1 month ago

Filner administration included keeping the Veterans and Downtown Homeless Emergency Shelter Tents opened year round. Now 350 San Diegans will be evicted on March 31, 2014 in 40 Days. The Tents will reopen in November 2014. Over 60+ San Diegans die every year due to a lack of basic shelter.

Last year, on April 6, 2013, McCormack Jackson tried to block Homeless Veterans Tents advocates from meeting with Mayor Filner at the first Saturday morning meetings to tell them his office staff was sabotaging efforts to fund solutions before the Monday April 8, 2013, 8 am morning evictions at the Veterans Tent in the Midway neighborhood.

Luckily McCormack Jackson's plan to block citizen access to the Mayor failed, and the Veterans Tents stayed opened Year Round for the first time ever, thanks to advocacy by David Ross the Waterman.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | February 19, 2014 at 10:28 a.m. ― 3 years, 1 month ago

I have a great idea. Lets spend millions of dollars remodeling a historic high rise with views of San Diego Bay in the heart of San Diego, the most expensive commercial real estate in the city, and use it for a homeless shelter. We can let people live there for free. I am sure it will really help them get on their feet again.

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