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Tents, Clothes, Personal Items May Start Piling Up Now That Homeless Storage Facility Is Full

The 20th Street storage facility has 45-gallon bins stacked in metal racks th...

Credit: Matt Hoffman/KPBS

Above: The 20th Street storage facility has 45-gallon bins stacked in metal racks that people can use to store nonperishable items, June 12, 2018.

In June the city of San Diego opened a second storage center in Sherman Heights aiming to help people who are homeless.

People who use the facility are given a 45-gallon tub where they can safely store their belongings — but that center is now full.

RELATED: City Council Considers Additional Storage Centers To Help People Who Are Homeless

The city was able to negotiate a deal while the storage center was not at capacity — to remove items in the public right of way with just a three-hour notice. A spokesman for San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said when the storage site filled up last Wednesday, that time frame reverted back to the normal 72-hours notice.

"While that facility was under capacity we were allowed to perform those abatement and give notice of three hours," said the city's Chief of Homeless Strategies Keely Halsey.

RELATED: New San Diego Storage Center Geared Toward Helping People Who Are Homeless

Speaking to council members during a committee meeting last week, Halsey said people in the city may start to notice a difference on the streets.

"It might affect your constituents when they report these items to environmental services," she said. "This is the reason it will take a little more time to address those reports and complaints."

The storage center can hold up to 1,000 bins — but right now the city only has approval for 500. A spokesman for the mayor said there are not any immediate plans to expand the storage center.

The storage facility is costing the city and San Diego Housing Commission $1.4 million to keep open for a year.

Before a storage center for people who are homeless filled up, the city was able to remove items in the public right of way with just a three-hour notice — now that is reverting back to 72 hours.

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