San Diego Rescue Mission Gets Ready To Run Oceanside's Homeless Shelter
Speaker 1: 00:00 Ocean side will soon have its first year round homeless shelter, but who will it be open to KPBS north county reporter Tanya thorn gives us the details of what we can expect to see early next year. Speaker 2: 00:12 A school that once served at-risk students will soon serve ocean sites, homeless ocean shores, high school located on Oceanside Boulevard in El Camino. Real will turn into the city's first year round homeless shelter. Speaker 3: 00:26 Didn't think we would get it. And in the end they selected us to be their service provider. And I can't tell you how excited we are. Speaker 2: 00:33 Donnie D is the president of the San Diego rescue mission for Speaker 3: 00:37 Us because we own our properties. We own our assets. But what I love about this is it's an opportunity for the public and the private to work together on behalf of people who are living on the streets, Speaker 2: 00:48 The rescue mission, which will operate the Oceanside shelter currently operates a 360 bed shelter in downtown San Diego. While the San Diego location will serve as a model for the Oceanside shelter, there are some differences that Speaker 3: 01:02 Property and ocean side's going to be a drop-off facility. We'll work very closely with the hot team and Oceanside with their police department. We'll work very closely with other agencies and they will refer people experiencing homelessness that need a place to stay to the San Diego rescue mission ocean shores camp. The Speaker 2: 01:19 Oceanside shelter will be open to men, women and families, Leanna quirk, and her husband have been homeless for over four years and are now staying in a donated RV. They know all too well, the need for shelters, for families. Speaker 4: 01:33 There's nothing for families. That's the hardest part. Me and my husband were married 20 years. And even when we went to the hotel program, they kind of told us, well, would you guys be willing to separate and get rid of your dogs? Or we don't want to be separated. And I can't get rid of my dogs. Quirk Speaker 2: 01:51 Stalks became her support when she lost her children to foster care. And when she started getting seizures, cork things, the rescue missions shelter will be great news to the homeless in the area. Speaker 4: 02:00 I know a lot of people that want help, you know, and unfortunately they don't know how to get it. The Speaker 2: 02:04 Shelter will offer 50 beds with overnight and day use for 30 days again, Dani, Speaker 3: 02:10 And they will have 30 days to stay there. And it will be through that relationship that we'll figure out. Do you need to go downtown and be a part of the long-term program? Do you need to go to detox? Do you need a skilled nursing facility? Uh, we'll do triage at these facilities and figure out what's their path forward. Speaker 2: 02:25 The rescue missions plans. First start with every model of the existing facility. Speaker 3: 02:29 It's got, um, a bunch of individual rooms that were classrooms and we will break up those rooms around gender and, and around family orientations as Speaker 2: 02:40 A plan account for sexual orientation. Some people are raising the question. Max's boasty is the executive director of the north county LGBTQ resource center. He says a large part of the homeless population identifies as LGBTQ and the lack of inclusiveness pushes them away from shelters. Speaker 5: 02:58 You know, there is a reason why our population population prefers to sleep under the bridge. Literally, you know where we're using public land, the resources, um, they're, they're supposed to guarantee that protection Speaker 2: 03:10 Just posted. He says, he's concerned the rescue missions plan excludes the LGBTQ homeless. Speaker 5: 03:15 What is your track record? What do you do when a transfer, some comes in? How do you protect Speaker 2: 03:19 Them? Just posted. He says, community relationships are very important when it comes to referring people, to agencies for help Speaker 5: 03:26 In order for us to do a referral to another service provider that can have services that we don't have like housing. And so for it, we ask a lot of questions says, okay, is your staff trained? It is trained. Who did the training? When they were training? Speaker 2: 03:41 Donnie D said the San Diego rescue mission has never denied access to services based on religious belief or sexual identity. He says he welcomes community partners to the Oceanside facility. Speaker 3: 03:51 So committed to that approach that we'll actually have office space in our facility at ocean shores for other agencies, because we want that kind of relationship. That's just as an our thing. It's not just the San Diego rescue mission thing. It's the community of ocean side project. And we want to serve that city. Well, Speaker 2: 04:09 If approved remodeling of the facility will start later this year and the shelter is expected to be up and running by next year. Speaker 1: 04:18 Joining me is KPBS north county reporter. Yeah. Tonya thorn, Tanya. Welcome. Speaker 2: 04:24 Thanks Maureen. Speaker 1: 04:25 How was that? San Diego rescue mission shows into run Oceanside's homeless shelter. Speaker 2: 04:32 Well, this decision to have the San Diego rescue mission run Oceanside's shelters came as a surprise to many. It was a topic at several city council meetings. A preliminary decision had already been made on a different organization, but in the end they voted on the rescue mission for one major difference in the plans. And it's a big one. You know, the rescue mission would not need any city funding to operate while the other organization requested a million dollars in annual operating costs from the city. So that was, that was a big major difference that ultimately led to this decision. Huh? Speaker 1: 05:08 Were there any homeless service providers in the running who were more familiar with ocean side and its homeless population? Speaker 2: 05:17 Well, the other organization in consideration was interfaith community services and they were actually the organization recommended by the Oceanside city staff and housing commission to run the shelter because of their very presence and track record in north county, they already have several offices in place throughout north county. They work with ocean sites, homeless outreach team. They work with the veterans association and they recently opened a motel of healing and Escondido to expand their services. After the city's recommendation, everyone thought interfaith would be the one, but the city decided to have both organizations come back and present their plans. And again, the biggest difference where the operating the rescue mission wasn't requesting in order to operate Speaker 1: 06:02 The homeless services that are provided by the rescue mission in downtown San Diego sound very different from what Oceanside intends to do, for instance, will there be any of the rescue missions, faith based rehab set up on the ocean shores site? Speaker 2: 06:20 Yeah, you know, we, we took a tour of the downtown San Diego rescue missions shelter, and there are some differences. Um, for example, in Oceanside, they will not be any long-term residential housing. Like we see at the mission's downtown location, but Donnie D the CEO of the rescue mission tells me that the downtown location will be an option for people staying in the Oceanside shelter. So while the location is a 30 day, stay in Oceanside within those 30 days, options will be explored as to what that person needs and wants. Do they want to join the faith-based residential program downtown? Do they need rehab? Do they need a nursing facility? So all those options will be explored at the Oceanside shelter that could ultimately lead them downtown. Speaker 1: 07:03 How else is the Oceanside shelter different from the rescue missions, downtown San Diego shelter? Speaker 2: 07:09 You know, another big difference. Donnie D told me that the Oceanside location will be open to men, women, and families. That's something different from their emergency shelter downtown that only takes women and children. Another difference is that the Oceanside shelter will be a drop-off location. Dani D says he will work with the Oceanside homeless outreach team and other agencies to refer people to that shelter. Speaker 1: 07:33 Now, Donny D as you say, the CEO of president of San Diego rescue mission says that they'll be using a triage concept to determine the next step for people at the shelter, but does Oceanside have any sort of next step services for the homeless or will they have to go to other areas of the county? Speaker 2: 07:54 You know, there are a couple of organizations and resources that assist people experiencing homelessness in Oceanside, but nothing with a permanent shelter that is open to everyone. The city of Oceanside does have that motel voucher program, but many of the people I've spoken to say that, that hasn't been very successful for that very reason, once they're in the motel, the next step is either relocation or separation from their families if they want to secure housing. So I'm really curious to see how many people choose to move into the missions residential program from Oceanside to downtown, because ultimately, you know, that is relocating from an area that they know. And Speaker 1: 08:32 Why was the head of the north county LGBTQ resource center concerned about the choice of the rescue mission? Speaker 2: 08:40 Max dispo to the executive director of the north county LGBTQ center says that the San Diego rescue mission doesn't have much of a track record in north county just to start. And he doesn't know of them working with any LGBTQ center at their downtown location for interfaith community services has faith-based programs as well, but they have actually invited disposed to you to look into any barriers preventing the LGBTQ community from seeking help from them. So he's concerned that the rescue mission won't have that inclusiveness because they haven't reached out to him or any other LGBTQ organization that he knows of. And another point that disposed state brought up was that this shelter notion site is being placed on city owned land, public land, meaning it needs to be open to everyone. Okay? Speaker 1: 09:24 So the new ocean side shelter is supposed to be up and running next year, but will there be anywhere for unsheltered people to go in Oceanside this winter? Speaker 2: 09:36 You know, Maureen, aside from the motel voucher program or programs outside of the city? I don't think so. And you know, we're also dealing with a high population of homeless people that are on the streets. Now, many of the shelters that are set up are already at full capacity. I really wouldn't be surprised if the rescue missions shelter gets full as soon as it opens. But Donnie D also said that they are an escrow for another shelter in the south bay. So if that deal closes, it could be more beds to filter people into once they're all set up and running. So I think it'll be really interesting to see how this plays out in the next couple of years. Speaker 1: 10:10 All right. Then I've been speaking with KPBS, north county reporter, Tonya thorn, Tanya. Thank you. Speaker 2: 10:16 Happy to be here. Thank you.