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Escondido Homeless Shelter Closes

North County's cold weather shelter for the homeless in Escondido will have to close on Saturday. The Salvation Army is working on ways to offer shelter to the homeless. The Escondido city council has

Escondido Homeless Shelter Closes

North County's cold weather shelter for the homeless in Escondido will have to close on Saturday. The Salvation Army is working on ways to offer shelter to the homeless. The Escondido city council has not approved requests for an ongoing winter homeless shelter. KPBS reporter Alison St. John has more.

Escondido has traditionally hosted the largest winter shelter for the homeless. But this year the city council voted not to approve a plan to house the homeless in the Salvation Army's gym. An emergency declaration from the Governor's office allowed a shelter to open in the National Guard Armory when the temperatures dropped to freezing. But Mel Takahara of the Salvation Army says the declaration has not been renewed - so the shelter is due to close.

Takahara: Bottom line is we still have these people who have need of shelter, and we have to decide how we can proceed without disrespecting the council, while at the same time following our consciences.

Takahara says the Salvation Army plans to offer temporary shelter whenever the temperature drops below 40 degrees, since they can operate for up to 30 days consecutively without a permit from the city. Alison St John KPBS news.