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Quality of Life

Restored Churchill Hotel Houses 72 Homeless

Hotel Churchill, located on C Street in downtown San Diego, will provide affordable rentals for 72 homeless individuals, including Veterans, Sept. 19, 2016.
Susan Murphy
Hotel Churchill, located on C Street in downtown San Diego, will provide affordable rentals for 72 homeless individuals, including Veterans, Sept. 19, 2016.

Restored Churchill Hotel Houses 72 Homeless
Hotel Churchill, located on C Street in downtown San Diego, will provide affordable rentals for 72 homeless individuals, including Veterans, Sept. 19, 2016.

The century-old Hotel Churchill sat vacant and deteriorating on C Street in downtown San Diego for years. Now, the seven-story historic building is restored and providing affordable rentals to 72 homeless people, including veterans and at-risk youth.

“Now, they have a roof over their heads and the opportunity for a fresh start to get back on their feet,” said Richard Gentry, San Diego Housing Commission president and CEO.

One of the new residents is Luis, an 18-year Navy veteran who served in the Gulf War. He lost his job as an electronics technician during the recession and ended up living on the streets of La Mesa.

“I can cook my own food now, which makes me happy,” Luis told a crowd of San Diego politicians, city leaders and advocates who gathered outside the hotel on Monday for a grand re-opening and ribbon cutting ceremony.

“I don’t have to worry about being chased off by police or being attacked by anybody. I really feel safe there,” Luis said.

Each studio rental in the Hotel Churchill, with an average unit size of 321 square feet, has a kitchenette with a refrigerator, oven, stove and microwave. Next to the kitchen is a  dining area with a table and two chairs, Sept. 19, 2016.
Susan Murphy
Each studio rental in the Hotel Churchill, with an average unit size of 321 square feet, has a kitchenette with a refrigerator, oven, stove and microwave. Next to the kitchen is a dining area with a table and two chairs, Sept. 19, 2016.
Each Hotel Churchill unit has a bedroom area, with a bed, dresser and table, Sept. 19, 2016.
Susan Murphy
Each Hotel Churchill unit has a bedroom area, with a bed, dresser and table, Sept. 19, 2016.

The VA San Diego Healthcare System is dedicating a full-time clinical social worker to provide services to the 56 veterans.

The project is part of the city’s initiative to get 1,000 homeless veterans off the streets and into affordable housing by next year.

“They served our country, they protected our freedoms, but later of course, due to a variety of circumstances, found themselves homeless and on the streets,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

The project is also a key component of the city’s Homeless Action Plan, a three-year strategy to create affordable housing with supportive services.

“I’m often asked, ‘How will we end homelessness in San Diego?’” said City Councilmember Todd Gloria, whose district includes the East Village neighborhood where Hotel Churchill is located. “Ladies and gentleman, this is how we will end homelessness in San Diego.”

Each studio, with an average unit size of 321 square feet, has a bedroom area, kitchenette and bathroom. A community room on the lower level has a seating area, TV, computer and laundry services.

The monthly rent for each unit is $942. Residents pay up to 30 percent of their income toward rent.

The $20 million renovation project was funded using federal, state and local resources.

Explore all national, state and local returns now.