Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD), home to homeless veterans, will soon expand its residency program to include non-veterans.
The San Diego City Council unanimously approved the changes last Tuesday, making it possible for non-veterans to enroll.
VVSD along with the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) have been pushing for this change for a while now.
“We want to fill these beds every day, and with the fluid clientele that we have here sometimes we have some occupancy,” said Lisa Record, Vice President of Development at VVSD.
In previous years, VVSD has at times reached only half or a quarter occupancy. The SDHC believes this is a step to correct this issue.
“In a given day we might have 20 beds and if they are not filled by veterans, which is our preference, we would be happy to put non-veterans in the beds. It's really a win for the greater San Diego community," Record said.
The housing qualifications that VVSD’s program has now is accepting a single person, who’s a veteran, that earns no more than 50 percent of the area median income or $34,100, according to their website.
The two organizations are working together to determine the specific requirements for the new enrollment of non-veteran residents.
“We are working with SDHC right now in terms to what that looks like, it will be similar to what our intake process is for veterans and we expect to get that nailed down by the next couple of weeks,” Record explained.
Record has spoken to the veterans at the shelter about this change and says they are very supportive.
“I think these veterans are sympathetic to the homeless population here because that’s where they’ve been as well,” explained Record.