San Diego Convention Center

Convention Center Housing 800+ Homeless Individuals Following Completion of 1st Phase

One woman being house at the Convention Center expressed her gratitude at the shelter and told NBC 7 the facility is "the best"

NBCUniversal, Inc.

More than 800 homeless individuals moved into the San Diego Convention Center on Wednesday as part of the government’s effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The plan, dubbed "Operation Shelter to Home," was announced March 23 as a means of housing homeless individuals to prevent from spreading the novel coronavirus and to connect those people to permanent housing.

The operation rolled into motion last week and officials say that by Wednesday, more than 800 individuals have moved into the center.

One woman who is being housed at the iconic center expressed her gratitude for the shelter.

“People are very respectful," Armyana Medina told NBC 7. "You know, you can’t wake up and not say good morning because you’re sheltered and it’s better than being there. You know, I’ve been there. I’ve been on Skid Row and this facility is the best.”

Hundreds of cots spread 6 feet apart from one another lined the convention center, where basic necessities like food and a means of hygiene will be available to those who will be housed there.

All residents will be screened before they are given the all-clear to stay at the convention center and after that, they will have their temperatures taken daily.

In the next few days, individuals who have been housed at Golden Hall will be moved to the convention center. Those who have chronic health conditions will be housed at Father Joe’s PMC facility, where they can receive medical support.

On Tuesday, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced $7.1 million in emergency state funding was secured to help protect homeless people amid the pandemic, with $3.7 million of those funds going toward "Operation Shelter to Home."

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