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Where will Golden Hall shelter residents go?

 March 23, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Thursday, March 23rd.

San Diego’s Golden Hall homeless shelter is set to close, but what will happen to its residents? More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


The San Diego City Council yesterday approved a settlement with a real estate broker over the 101 Ash Street deal.

Under the deal, Jason Hughes will repay the city the nine-point-four million dollars he was given to help negotiate lease-to-own agreements for that building and Civic Center Plaza.

The city attorney's office says Hughes had represented himself as a volunteer.

The settlement was approved 7 to 2.

Council member Vivian Moreno voted against it.

“Simply having to give up what was made in an illegal scheme to defraud the public is not a sufficient penalty.”

Hughes also agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor conflict of interest charge.


We’re getting a break from the rain over the next couple of days.

The National Weather Service says we may get some rain this morning, but then we can expect cool, dry and breezy conditions through the weekend.

The rain will return when yet another storm moves in next week.


S-D-G-and-E customers get a chance to weigh in today on the utility’s three-point-six billion dollar rate hike request.

S-D-G-and-E customers blasted the utility at two virtual hearings set up by California regulators earlier this year.

They questioned why the company should be allowed to raise rates after customers struggled to pay their bills this past winter as natural gas bills soared.

The in-person hearings are at 2 and 6 p-m today at the Sherman Heights community center.

Regulators want public input on the utility’s request to increase the amount of revenue S-D-G-and-E can collect from 20-24 to 20-27.

The utility is asking to charge customers an additional 450-million-dollars in the first year.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.


San Diego’s Golden Hall has been a shelter for hundreds of homeless people since 20-19 … but that's about to change.

Reporter Jacob Aere says it's set to close… but a majority of its residents don’t know where they'll go next.

The city-owned shelter has been operating under a temporary permit for roughly four years and is run by Father Joe’s Villages. Now it’s set to close and new locations will have to be found to house hundreds of people experiencing homelessness. That’s putting some of the roughly 500 residents, like Kevin Graves, on edge. He’s been there for six months. “It's a travesty. You have numerous homeless people here in San Diego yet they still justify closing a place that has reached out to a lot of people and helped a lot of people.” A city of San Diego spokesperson told KPBS there's no hard move out date and the families at Golden Hall will move into a new shelter in Barrio Logan later this spring. But the city is still looking for shelter options for the adult men and transition aged youth. Everyone will continue to be sheltered at Golden Hall until other options are found to make sure no one will be sent onto the streets. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.


Homeless advocates and medical professionals gathered outside of Scripps Mercy Hospital yesterday, to denounce what they say is ongoing patient dumping for people who are unsheltered.

They say hospitals across the city of San Diego continue to prematurely discharge homeless and poor patients – despite a 20-18 law known as S-B 11-52, which was meant to address this issue.

‘Housing 4 the Homeless’ member Vanessa Davis says it's contributing to deaths on the streets.

“The practice of hospitals inappropriately releasing homeless or indigent patients to the streets without proper screening or stabilizing treatment – often inadequately clothed without safe transport or a realistic plan for self care. Unfortunately this is still happening today.”

In a statement, Scripps Health says they comply “with all provisions of S-B 11-52,” and that they “ensure all patients are safe to leave the hospital before being discharged.”

‘Housing 4 the Homeless’ leaders are requesting state lawmakers hold hearings, and review the law’s effectiveness.


In other health related news, a new analysis shows there are 60-thousand nursing vacancies across the state.. Making it one of the most in-demand jobs.

Health reporter Matt Hoffman says local hospitals are feeling the pinch.

The American Hospital Association says an older health care workforce, a surge in retirements and pandemic burnout is driving a nationwide caregiver shortage.. Doug Levine is UC San Diego Health’s director of talent acquisition.. There are staffing shortages in health care regardless of what covid did to us but covid exacerbated it  He says they currently have just over 200 open nursing positions-- about a seven percent vacancy rate..He says there’s also a need for occupational therapists, surgical techs and other support staff including food service workers and custodians. Levine says when it comes to recruitment there’s options including sign on bonuses and covering relocation costs.. MH KPBS News.


Death is not an easy thing to face, but a crematorium in Escondido is helping families through the process, until the very end.

North County reporter Tania Thorne tells us about the space designed for families to witness the cremation process.

During the height of the pandemic, Tatiana Maka was an ICU nurse. I noticed there was a lot of death during COVID and a lot of families couldn’t deal with it and didn't have that closure. So I wanted to provide a space for them to have that time, have that moment with their loved one. Maka left the medical field and began dedicating her life to something completely different. The reason we started as a crematorium and funeral home is because we wanted to provide a service that is not there, more specifically witness cremations. She says it took about a year and a half to get Silver Lining Cremations up and running. There's a lot of licenses that are involved that we had to take from the state, from the city and from the county. Maka says witness cremations aren't a new thing. Other funeral homes or crematoriums in the area have that option but their setup is very industrial and the family gets 5 mins. And they don't have a quiet space, they don't have a place to say goodbye. It's a very quick ‘here we go’ the bodies getting cremated and thats it. But the space at Silver Lining Crematorium was designed with witness cremations in mind. Space in front of the retort, or cremation chamber, allows for families to be a part of the cremation process in their own ways. We've had Buddhist monks, we've had Hindu priests, we've had Catholic priests here doing rosaries, I've had Jewish families doing cremations, any religion you can think of, we’ve had it. And anywhere from 10 people to 60. For different cultures, being a part of the cremation process and witnessing it… is a tradition. One  that Maka says would go unfulfilled without spaces like the one they offer A lot of the families that we've had are immigrants so because they can't take them home, its important for them to give them the right way, the right goodbye. But Maka says many people still view cremations as scary and the thought of witnessing the process is something they don’t consider right away.  there's nothing that is terrifying about the process. Its actually very calm. We play music, we have them be in the room, they see us loading the decedent into the retort. Its nice to be part of it. The same way as when they go to the cemetery, theyre part of the burial, She says more people are choosing cremations over burials due to the cost and environmental consciousness. Embalming is formaldehyde and many other chemicals that at the end of the day end up in the ground. With burials the body goes into the ground and it stays there in a casket until the time comes and it disintegrates. With cremations, embalming is not required by the state of CA. So its a greener, faster, more affordable option for the family. Maka says her experience with death in hospitals is what really motivated her to open a different kind of space. Back in the days people used to die at home and families cared for them. Families don't have that opportunity anymore. So with witnessing, it gives them that chance. I've had families that came in and brushed the hair of a loved one, or applied lipstick one last time. Maka says it's those small details that help many families move on, and she's proud to offer that. Death will happen. It's part of life. But if we can find that sliver of peace and calm. And if we can offer that space for the families and help them have closure then I think thats worth everything that we do. That's why we're here. TT KPBS News. 


Coming up.... WonderCon is this weekend, we have the details. That and more, just after the break.


It’s been almost a week since residents of a mobile home park in Vista were forced to evacuate due to a sinkhole.

Reporter Claire Strong went to see how they're doing.

“It was my sanctuary. Nobody lives there but me. I’m really sad not to be able to go into my house with my things.” Denise Dougi had to leave all her worldly possessions behind, bar a few essentials, when disaster struck at Green Valley Mobile Home Park last Thursday morning. Flooding caused a sinkhole behind her home, resulting in 17 residents being evacuated. Since then, Dougi has been unable to return. Another resident, Rich Cruse, was forced to spend a few nights in a hotel, but was able to move back over the weekend. He’s worried about the financial impact this could have. “My finances aren't great and the possibility of me being able to sell my home anytime soon, is low at the moment. I love this place, but until this is resolved and everyone’s squared away, I’m kind of stuck”. The City of Oceanside says repairs will begin as soon as the weather allows. Claire Strong, KPBS News.


WonderCon, Comic-Con’s sister convention, takes place tomorrow through Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center.

It offers everything that Comic-Con does, but on a smaller, less crowded scale, with badges even available at the door.

Here’s Arts reporter Beth Accomando speaking with attorneys Josh Gilliland and Steven Chu of the Legal Geeks, who are on panels at WonderCon this weekend.

TAG: That was Beth Accomando speaking with Legal Geeks Josh Gilliland and Steven Chu.

WoderCon runs tomorrow through Sunday, at the Anaheim Convention Center.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. Come back tomorrow for an interview with our very own producer, Emilyn Mohebbi. She’ll join me on this side of the podcast, to talk about Persian New Year traditions. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Thursday.

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Since 2019, San Diego’s Golden Hall has been a shelter for hundreds of people experiencing homelessness, but that's about to change. In other news, a crematorium in Escondido is letting families witness the cremation process. Plus, a look inside WonderCon this weekend.