The deadline for vacating the structure currently being used to shelter migrants released into San Diego after federal processing is approaching fast, forcing the city to explore its next option.
The mayor’s office said Friday that it has identified Camp Barrett, east of Alpine, as a facility that could be used for temporary shelter after the Feb. 4 deadline for the current shelter passes.
"I'm pretty sure they can find other uses for it as well," said Alpine resident Nate Cruz. "Homeless vets and homeless individuals that we already have over here. My thing is police inside first before we start helping others."
Camp Barrett hosted juvenile rehabilitative programs for more than 20 years before the county’s probation department closed the remote camp.
A letter from the city’s Neighborhood Services Department to the governor’s Office of Emergency Services said that the current shelter “does not have the proper occupancy classification to allow viable long-term operation.”
According to the letter, Camp Barrett is already classified for residential occupancy and wouldn’t require significant alterations if a shelter for migrants was to open there.
The facility and surrounding land are owned by the city of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department and are for sale, but the letter says the property could be leased to the state temporarily for use as a shelter.
The letter says the property can also be leased to a third-party vendor, and says the Alliance Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has recently agreed to fund operation of a shelter facility.
"It doesn't bother me," said Kripa, another Alpine resident. "If it is west of Viejas I would be concerned about it. Otherwise no."
Those not all Alpine residents are in favor of the proposal.
"They are from another country and it's like, what is their overall plan once they get into this state?" said Allen Shields, a resident in the area.
Camp Barrett is the only proposed location at this time, according to the mayor’s office. The mayor’s office said assessments would still need to be done to the property and discussions about any alterations to the site have to take place.
San Diego County also said leaders will be discussing what resources it can contribute at next Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.