City begins work to turn old central library into homeless shelter
After years of debate, the city of San Diego is taking initial steps to convert the old downtown library building into a homeless shelter.
Mayor Todd Gloria’s office said the city has begun “modest preparations” to repurpose the building — including minor renovations, repairs and electrical work.
The library, which has sat vacant for the past nine years, has drawn attention from advocates who have pressed the city to use the building to house unsheltered people.
Those requests had been turned down for reasons including inadequate heating in the winter and a potentially high cost of renovation.
One notable obstacle that stood in the way of potential repurposing is an obscure 1899 deed restriction on the building, which states that the property must include a reading room.
Now, the city said it’s hoping to have a portion of the building ready for use as a shelter this winter.
A new homeless shelter in the Midway District is now accepting residents. In other news, a place that has served members of the LGBTQ-plus community recovering from addiction is closing its doors.
One of the bills awaiting Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature would allow farmworkers to vote on unionizing by mail or card check. He’s vetoed similar legislation before.