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From the Mayor's Desk

New Safe Sleeping Site is Helping People Get Off the Streets 

Resident at the City's O Lot Safe Sleeping site

People are steadily moving in to the City’s new Safe Sleeping site at O Lot in Balboa Park. 

As of the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 7, 103 individuals were enrolled. 

“I love it here,” said Jerri, a senior who’s one of the new residents at the new Safe Sleeping site. “The tent's so big, it feels almost weird having all that space. It's got windows. It's got a floor. We've got laundry.”  

The O Lot has three tiers that can accommodate a total of 400 tents, each with enough space for two people and their belongings. To help with inclement weather conditions, we have provided insulated tents that will help regulate internal temperatures, and City crews built four-inch platforms to raise them off the ground. 

In addition to the tents, this program provides on-site meals, restrooms, showers, laundry, storage, case management, basic needs assistance and resource referrals. People can be referred to the Safe Sleeping Program through the City’s Coordinated Street Outreach Program or by San Diego Police Department. Couples or partners can enter the program together, and domestic pets are welcome. 

The O Lot builds on the success we’ve seen at our first Safe Sleeping site at the City’s Central Operations Yard at 20th and B streets, which is sheltering nearly 150 people while also helping them access the services that will help them end their homelessness. 

The site is being operated by Dreams for Change, and Downtown San Diego Partnership. 

Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis in San Diego, and we are treating it as such. It’s inhumane to let people languish on our streets in dangerous and unsanitary conditions, which is why the City is following the plan laid out in our Comprehensive Shelter Strategy and tackling this crisis from every possible angle.  

Our Safe Sleeping sites are just the latest effort to get people out of unsafe encampments and on the path to permanent housing.   

Jerri was sleeping on Commercial Street before she enrolled in the City’s new Safe Sleeping Program. She said she had been saying no to offers of shelter because she wasn’t interested in sleeping in a congregate setting so close to other people.  

“I don’t do crowds,” Jerri said. “I don’t do people. Forget it, I just couldn’t do it.”  

Jerri said the tents are perfect for more introverted people like her who prefer to be alone. She says she is now ready to connect with a caseworker and begin her work of finding a permanent home.  

“I just want to say thank you to whoever decided to do this, because this is awesome.” 


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