San Diego Winter Homeless Shelters Close After Record 19-Month Run
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Aired 7/1/14 on KPBS News.
Dozens of homeless people in San Diego who have been staying at the city’s emergency winter shelters will be sent back out on the streets on Tuesday.
Dozens of homeless people in San Diego who have been staying at the city’s emergency winter shelters will be sent back out on the streets on Tuesday. The shelter doors are closing after being open for a record 19 continuous months, from November 23, 2012 to June 23, 2014.
The two shelters — one for single adults located at 16th Street and Newton Avenue in downtown, and the other for veterans on Sports Arena Blvd — provided a combined 350 beds and helped 700 people transition into more stable or permanent housing.
In addition to receiving a bed to sleep in, homeless shelter residents were given meals, medical services, counseling and employment assistance.
The shelters are usually open every year for just four months during the winter, but a series of budgeting actions by former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and the San Diego City Council allowed the shelters to remain open longer.
Current San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer earmarked $1.9 million in the 2015 fiscal year budget for the winter shelters, as well as several other homeless-services programs. The shelters are scheduled to reopen at the end of November.
The veterans shelter is operated by the Veterans Village of San Diego and funded by city and federal dollars. The single adult winter shelter is run by the Alpha Project and funded by the city.
A recent point-in-time count of San Diego County’s homeless population found 8,520 people on the streets, in cars or in shelters.
The January count found 60 percent of the county's homeless population in the city of San Diego. Of the 5,213 found within city limits, 2,745 were sheltered and 2,468 were unsheltered.