Funding for three temporary shelters to house the homeless community were given the green light by San Diego City Council Tuesday.
The total estimated cost of the Temporary Bridge Shelters is more than $6.5 million and will be funded by the Alpha Project, Father Joe's Villages and Veterans Village of San Diego.
The locations include the following:
- 2801 Sports Area Boulevard in Midway
- 16th Street and Newton Avenue in Barrio Logan
- 1402 Commercial Street near the trolley station in the East Village
Each tent will be run by local non-profits, who will provide transitional services like health care, counseling, and drug rehab programs.
The shelters will provide beds for 700 people every day, including meals, showers, restrooms and 24-hour security.
"While we work to create more housing, these temporary bridge shelters will provide a safe and clean place for people to go. It’s a place where men, women and children can find relief from life on the streets while they search for permanent housing," San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.
Councilmember Chris Ward also commended the council's decision, saying that the Hepatitis A outbreak in the county needed a quick action.
In response to the city council's decision to approve funding for the shelters, Father Joe's Villages sent a statement, which read, in part:
"While we host this temporary shelter at our parking lot site over the next year, we will continue to work toward the long-term solutions our community needs to address homelessness. Father Joe’s Villages will simultaneously operate this shelter and move forward with its plan to use the 14th and Commercial location for affordable housing dedicated to people overcoming homelessness. Father Joe’s Villages will break ground on the permanent supportive housing at 14th and Commercial after the shelter contract ends as part of Turning the Key, our initiative to address the largest barrier to solving homelessness in our region – a lack of permanent affordable housing."
But Councilmember David Alvarez said the cost of maintaining the shelters is too high.
"I have been recommending using existing vacant City structures including the old downtown library or the former Chargers Training facility. Instead, we are taking millions of dollars in funds from permanent housing to temporarily house people in costly tents which average $1700 monthly per person. I cannot in good conscience approve this program since less expensive options and real solutions exist that are being ignored," read a statement from Alvarez.