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New Program Clears Minor Infractions For Homeless Who Stay At Bridge Shelter For 30 Days

Police officers remove a tent left by the homeless during efforts to sanitize neighborhoods to control the spread of hepatitis A, in San Diego., Sept. 25, 2017.
Associated Press
Police officers remove a tent left by the homeless during efforts to sanitize neighborhoods to control the spread of hepatitis A, in San Diego., Sept. 25, 2017.
The program gives homeless individuals who face arrest or a ticket for minor quality-of-life issues the option of going to the Alpha Project’s shelter in East Village. If they stay there for 30 days their infraction is cleared.

Police Departments across the country have been criticized for criminalizing homelessness. A new program operated by the San Diego Police Department and Alpha Project is trying to change that.

The program gives homeless individuals who face arrest or a ticket for minor quality-of-life issues the option of going to Alpha Project’s shelter in East Village. If they stay there for 30 days their infraction is cleared. Quality-of-life issues include infractions related to encroachment, littering and public urination.

Fifty beds at the 17th Street and Imperial Avenue shelter are reserved for the program.

RELATED: Homeless Encampment in Spring Valley Shows Spread of San Diego’s Homeless Crisis

Bob McElroy, president and CEO of Alpha Project, joined Midday Edition Wednesday to discuss the program.