A new temporary shelter was opened Friday to help with the growing number of transients living in the city of San Diego.
U.S. Navy veteran Ron Bailey said he was most looking forward to taking a shower and having a place to sleep tonight.
He said he was living in Pacific Beach and found it easy to get good but had a lot of problems finding a place to clean up or rest.
“It’s been cold. It’s been really cold,” said Bailey. “This time of year, it’s a godsend.”
The shelter will offer services for up to 200 homeless veterans in the Midway District. The project, operated by the Veterans Village of San Diego, is part of a larger plan to help get people into stable housing.
According to the January 2017 figures collected as part of the We All Count project, 5,619 people within the city of San Diego are homeless. That represents 62 percent of the region’s homeless community.
Another shelter opened Dec. 1 at 16th Street and Newton Avenue downtown for single adults. It is operated by the Alpha Project.
A third shelter was scheduled to be opened by Dec. 31 in the East Village area of San Diego. It will be operated by Father Joe’s Village.
The San Diego City Council approved more than $6.5 million to fund the shelters.
The We All Count project said only 5 percent of those surveyed by volunteers were taking advantage of transitional housing in San Diego as of January 2017.
When asked what would help most to get into stable housing, the majority or 59 percent said a rental subsidy with 45 percent saying funds for a deposit would be helpful.
Volunteers around the U.S. will count the number of people who consider themselves homeless at the end of January as part of a national initiative.