The San Diego City Council approved a measure Tuesday to providing a year-round homeless shelter in a permanent facility, ending nearly 30 years of temporary tent housing.
The city of San Diego proposed a yearlong interim housing option for the homeless instead of the tents they provide downtown during the winter months.
The program, which will cost the city nearly $1.9 million annually, will be operated by St. Vincent de Paul at the organization's downtown Paul Mirable Center, located at 1501 Imperial Avenue in Councilman Todd Gloria's district.
Starting with 100 beds, the interim shelter should open as early as April 1, but the official opening will be on July 1.
The move is expected to help more than 2,800 homeless people, three times the amount the winter tents have been able to house.
“This facility will be the front door to a coordinated system of homeless services. Moving this program to a year-round operation will help almost three times as many San Diegans move off the streets annually by connecting them with resources and shelter,” Gloria said in a statement.
The expansion will include 350 beds for homeless men and women 18 years and older, but 40 percent of those beds will be reserved for veterans. Other benefits will include three meals a day and 45-day length of stay, which will encourage residents to move into more permanent housing.
The annual cost will come out of the city’s general funds, federal emergency solutions grant funds and the federal community development block grant funds.
The San Diego Housing Commission staff recommended this change to assist the homeless. Mayor Kevin Faulconer also played a role in the development.
The Veterans Village of San Diego and People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) will partner with St. Vincent’s to bring supportive services to the facility.