A renovated Super 8 motel in the South Bay will temporarily house families and children experiencing homelessness amid COVID-19, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and City Attorney Mara W. Elliott announced Tuesday.
The motel on Palm Avenue in Egger Highlands will eventually serve people in the San Diego Misdemeanants At-Rish Track (S.M.A.R.T.) program. Run by the city attorney's office, it was renovated to serve chronic misdemeanor offenders with acute drug addiction and complex social service needs.
The city said the renovations were recently completed, allowing it to be repurposed temporarily during the pandemic.
The facility has 42 rooms with 39 double-bed units and three ADA units. There is also a shared kitchen, communal spaces, a fitness room, laundry facilities, and an outdoor area for meditation and gardening.
Families will be able to connect with further resources and hopefully secure permanent housing, Faulconer said during a press conference. He said it would open soon and hold 42 families.
“During this challenging time, it's more important than ever to ensure our most vulnerable community members are protected,” Elliott said. “I am gratified to be able to transition our S.M.A.R.T. on Palm facility to provide temporary emergency housing for families in this time of dire need.”
Alpha Project of San Diego, which currently has contracts to serve families at another City-owned interim housing complex, will run the Palm Avenue site during this time.
“Alpha Project has worked to provide a safe, sanitary place for families before COVID-19 and will continue to do so during this pandemic,” said Bob McElroy, President and CEO of Alpha Project. “This new facility gives us space to help even more folks while they make the transition from the streets to a new permanent home.”
The city expects to use the building for its S.M.A.R.T. diversion program by January 2021. Faulconer said it will be used for its intended purpose in the coming months.