Community opposes planned Point Loma homeless shelter
Point Loma community members sent a letter to the city of San Diego opposing a plan to turn the site known as H-Barracks into a homeless shelter. The site would temporarily house 300 to 700 people experiencing homelessness, according to the city.
The site is on North Harbor Drive next to the end of the San Diego International Airport’s runway. It’s separated from Point Loma’s Liberty Station by an inlet of the North San Diego Bay.
Why it matters
The Peninsula Community Planning Board’s letter of opposition points out there are nine schools within a half mile of the planned shelter location.
"There was a lot of concern about the safety of the children in Liberty Station with lots of children there,” said Fred Kosmo, chair of the planning group.
But San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said H-Barracks is an important part of the city’s Comprehensive Shelter Strategy.
“As much as everyone is frustrated by our homelessness crisis, too often folks are concerned about the solutions that we propose,” Gloria said. “This is a multi-acre site that is in a discrete location. It is next to the airport. It is far from residents, businesses, schools and whatnot. It is separated from the Point Loma community by the channel of water that runs along Liberty Station."
The city estimates it will cost between $7 and $20 million to operate a temporary shelter on the site that will later be turned into a wastewater treatment site for the city of San Diego’s Pure Water Project.
Homelessness in San Diego County increased by at least 14% this year, according to the results from the 2023 WeAllCount Point-in-Time Count released in June. The one-night snapshot taken in January found 6,500 people experiencing homelessness in the city of San Diego alone. Of those, 3,285 were unsheltered.
In its letter to the city, the Peninsula Community Planning Board expressed concern about public safety and an increase in crime, as well as what the board described as "insufficient nearby services, grocery stores, and public transportation."
Gloria responded to the concerns in the Community Planning Board’s letter and said that the facility would have 24/7 security on site, extensive lighting, privacy fencing and no walk-ups will be accepted or outside visitors allowed.
The details for the temporary facility are still being worked out, but the mayor said he hopes to have the shelter up and running by the end of 2024.