About 180 people housed at Veterans Village San Diego were relocated on Sunday to the San Diego Convention Center as part of the effort to protect unsheltered residents from COVID-19.
"These are the men and women who have helped protect us. Now it is up to us as San Diegans to help give them the protection they need to get the protection from the virus,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Sunday.
The Convention Center will allow proper physical distancing and will help the city provide medical attention.
The move is part of the city’s “Operation Shelter to Home.” The goal is to keep homeless people safe during the health crisis, then transition them into permanent housing after the emergency.
San Diego started relocating hundreds of homeless residents from the city’s bridge shelters on April 1.
People in the Convention Center are being screened daily to make sure they are not displaying any coronavirus symptoms.
By the end of the week, the mayor hopes to have 800 people in the building.
“That’s important because we don’t just want to have space inside for physical distancing from our bridge shelters, but also have the capacity to bring in men and women in who are unsheltered off the streets,” said Faulconer.
Faulconer said the Convention Center will eventually be able to house up to 1,500 of the city’s homeless residents.
If anyone at the Convention Center develops COVID-19 symptoms, medical staff will determine whether to isolate patients onsite or offsite.
Patients could be taken to the hospital if they develop severe symptoms.