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Mayor Gloria Announces Plans to Wind Down Operation Shelter to Home


Friday,March5, 2021


SAN DIEGO Following through on his commitment to wind down Operation Shelter to Homeby the end of March,MayorToddGloria announced today thatresidents ofthe operation at the San Diego Convention Centerwillbe safely relocatedtotheCitysreconfiguredshelters, where they willcontinue receivinga high level of socialservices.

InApril 2020, theConventionCenteropened its spacious exhibit hallsto serve asa safe, sanitary environmentto protecthundreds ofindividualsexperiencing homelessness each nightduring the COVID-19 pandemic,allowing for physical distancing,on-site medical care and ongoing testing, and consolidating limited resources among shelter providers.Thecollaborative effort between the City of San Diego, County of San Diego, Regional Task Force on the Homeless, San Diego Housing CommissionandConvention Center hasserved more than 4,000 individualsand helpednearly1,300 individuals and 43 families find permanent or longer-term housing.

Aftera series of extensions dueto the pandemic,Operation Shelter to Homeis set to conclude this month. Allindividuals currently sheltering in the Convention Centerwho have not already moved to permanenthousingor longer-term housing optionswill be safely relocatedtoanotherlocationin the Cityssheltersystem. Move-out is slated to beginthe week of March 22.

Every San Diegan shouldtake pride in what Operation Shelter to Home accomplishedin keepingour homelessneighborssafe,but also ending the cycle of homelessness forhundredsduring this pandemic, Mayor Gloria said. What this experience has demonstrated is that wecancome together to address peoples homelessness. We can create the ecosystem of services and service providers that addresses the needs of the individual. This will now guide oureffortsas we move toward ending chronic homelessness.

The City worked closely with the County,the Housing Commissionand service providersAlpha Project and Father Joes Villagesto reconfigure the Citys homeless shelterstocontinue to serve the maximumpossiblenumber ofpeople per night while also adhering to public-health guidelines forCOVID-19 prevention and mitigation.The Countywill continue to provideongoinghealth-relatedguidanceat the shelters.

Approximately600 people are being moved from the ConventionCenter to City shelters,including Golden Hall.Some people will also be transitioned to open beds at the Father Joes Villages Paul Mirabile Center and PATH Connections interim shelter, which were reconfigured for greater physical distancing and COVID-19 prevention last year, as well as the recently opened Bishop Womens Shelter.

The followingrepresents thereconfiguredcapacityand populations to beservedin the Cityssheltersthat were vacated lastyear:



Population served

Beds(subject to change)

16th St. and Newton Ave.

Alpha Project

Single Adults


1710 Imperial Ave.

Alpha Project

Single Adults


Golden Hall,Upper Level

Father Joes Villages

Families & Transition Age Youth

192beds / 10 cribs

Golden Hall, Lower Level

Father Joes Villages



Todaysannouncementcomeson the heels ofshelter residents65 years of age or olderresiding in the Convention Centerreceiving their second doses of the COVID-19 vaccineand further protecting them from the virus.

What others are saying:

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher:

Protecting our unsheltered neighbors from coronavirus has been a collaborative effort for our region.As we enter the next phase,the County is committed to working alongside our new Mayor to ensure sustainable solutions and continued positive outcomes.

Council President ProTemStephen Whitburn:

Operation Shelter to Home succeeded in placing hundreds of people into housing because government agencies and nonprofits worked closely together to provide assistance.It shows that continued coordination of services will be key to making real progress in addressing homelessness.

SanDiegoHousingCommissionPresident and CEO Richard C. Gentry:

The San Diego Housing Commission looks forward to continuing to work with Bridge Shelter service providers and the additional organizations involved with Operation Shelter to Home to maintain the collaboration and coordination that made this initiative successful.Protecting the health of this population and helping them on their path to permanent housing will remain important objectives as the Bridge Shelters resume operations.

Regional Task Force on the Homeless CEO Tamera Kohler:

Operation Shelter to Home has shown us what we can accomplish when everyone is working together. From the people we are serving, who have helped keep themselves and their neighbors safe, to all the staff providing shelter services, healthcare, housing navigation, meals, and cleaning services, to name a few, this is how we are going to end homelessness in San Diego. We will now incorporate importantlessons learned and refined better practices from this effort across our system to focus all efforts toward housing with coordinated supports.

San Diego Convention Center President and CEO Clifford RipRippetoe:

Serving as a temporary home for more than 4,000 San Diegans in-need and working alongside dedicated staff from the City, County, and all our partner organizations was a life-changing experience for our team. We have been honored to host Operation Shelter to Home. As we prepare to return to our primary purpose as an economic generator for this region, we will draw on the additional expertise we have gained in COVID-19 protocols through this effort, supporting our safe reopening.

Alpha Project President and CEO Bob McElroy:

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a trying time for all of our residents and staff as we worked to protect one another and stay healthy. The agencies and leaders whove come together to ensure serving homeless San Diegans was a top priority shows the momentum we have as a city to help our neighbors still on the streets each night. Alpha Project is looking forward to moving back to the Citys shelters because that means were that much closer to being back to a new normal.

Father Joes Villages President and CEO, Deacon Jim Vargas:

"Through Operation Shelter to Home, Father Joe's Villages was able to touch the lives of thousands of neighbors in need, helping our neighbors to move off the streets for good and end their homelessness. Weare grateful for the swift action of local leadership and support of the community in helping to provide safe shelter to those most vulnerable during this unprecedented time. We look forward to continuing to make a difference through our comprehensive services at the bridge shelter in Golden Hall and the Paul Mirabile and Bishop Maher Interim Shelters."