San Diego

Top San Diego Businessmen Work Together to Solve Homelessness

Shea says the city should use tents for the homeless until enough permanent housing is built

Two of the city's most successful businessmen are working together to solve the region's homeless problem.

Many people here associate Dan Shea with fine dining. Now Shea and the managing partner of the San Diego Padres, Peter Seidler, are devoting their time to solving the issue.

"At some point you quit talking and something gets done. We take the next step," Shea told NBC 7.

According to the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, the population has risen higher than any time in the previous four years, up to more than 9,000.

Currently, more than 5,600 homeless people live without shelters -- a 14 percent increase since last year.

"There are not enough beds in San Diego to house all of these people," Shea said.

So Shea and Seidler took an idea from the old industrial tents the city used to use for emergency shelters.

Shea says the city should use tents for the homeless until enough permanent housing is built.

"We proposed that we start putting those back up, but instead of just having them for the four months in the winter, have them open until this homeless problem in San Diego gets fixed," Shea said.

Shea admits, these tents could be up for a while, but says that just how long depends on the city. Essentially, each of these tents holds 250 people. They cost $639,000 to get up and running. After that, Shea and Seidler estimate they could provide shelter for its occupants for less than $17 per person each day.

The Mayor's Office would not comment on this particular plan, but Mayor Faulconer has proposed several initiatives to reduce homelessness including a long-term assessment center.

City officials are also in the process of creating a Request for Proposals for projects geared towards fixing this problem.

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