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Mayor Gloria: City Makes Additional Shelter Available for Inclement Weather

DAILY SHELTER CAPACITY INCREASED AGAIN THIS WEEK FOR SECOND TIME IN RECENT MONTHS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021 

CONTACT: MayorPress@sandiego.gov 

 

SAN DIEGO – Working with service providers and organizations across the city, Mayor Todd Gloria today announced a coordinated approach to offer more San Diegans experiencing homelessness the opportunity to get off the streets during inclement weather, while also continually looking at ways to expand daily shelter options as staffing levels permit.  

During the past several weeks, the City’s new Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department (HSSD), the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) and the Regional Task Force on Homelessness (RTFH) have engaged providers, including the Alpha Project, Father Joe’s Villages, People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), San Diego Rescue Mission and other faith-based organizations to identify sites that could potentially serve those in need.  

“Expanding shelter options to more San Diegans experiencing homelessness, particularly as we enter the coldest and wettest season of the year, is critical,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “By working with groups across our city, we will be able to offer more people the chance to get into a warm and clean environment on those cold, rainy days when they need it most. We continue to work to expand our overall shelter network to serve individuals every day of the year so that everyone who wants a bed can have one.” 

The collaborative approach has resulted in the addition of 65 beds to be activated during inclement weather —55 beds at Father Joe’s Villages’ Paul Mirable Center and 10 beds operated by the San Diego Rescue Mission. Additional sites are still under evaluation by the City, RTFH and SDHC for even greater capacity.  

“This is the kind of inter-agency collaboration we need to help people off the streets and into shelter,” said Council President Pro Tem Stephen Whitburn who represents District 3 and chairs the Land Use & Housing Committee. “I applaud Mayor Gloria and the new Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department for their leadership in coordinating these efforts.” 

“No San Diegan should have to sleep on the streets where they are subjected to enduring the elements, including cold and wet weather. We as a community must come together to ensure our neighbors are not left behind during the winter months,” said Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages. “The necessary shelter beds offered by Father Joe’s Villages and our fellow service providers will not only keep neighbors off the streets during the worst of nights; it will also give hope to those who need it most during the holiday season.” 

Criteria for the activation of the additional shelter beds during inclement weather is as follows:  

  • Temperature is 50 degrees or below and there is a 40-percent chance of rain; 
  • Temperature is 45 degrees or below regardless of a chance of rain; or 
  • In exceptional weather conditions, such as one or more inches of rain within 24 hours and sustained high winds. 

“Increasing the availability of shelter options in multiple locations when we have cold, rainy and windy weather is essential for our homeless residents," said Tamera Kohler, CEO of the Regional Task Force on Homelessness. "Working with new and existing providers, we can provide dry, warm and safe shelter to meet people’s needs during inclement weather, reducing the potential of health issues that could be life-threatening. We are grateful for these critical and expanding partnerships.” 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many shelters have been operating under reduced capacities to ensure greater physical distancing and prevent the potential spread of the virus. As staffing levels have permitted, the City and SDHC have worked with service providers to continue to increase capacities for daily shelter use.  

Earlier this fall, 60 additional beds were opened at a City shelter operated by Alpha Project at 16th Street and Newton Avenue, and this week, Father Joe’s Village opened 35 additional beds at its Paul Mirable Center. The City continues to work with the County on following safe practices for virus prevention and regular testing at shelters.  

“The San Diego Housing Commission values and supports this essential collaboration among government agencies, service providers and faith-based organizations to bring these critical additional resources to San Diegans experiencing homelessness,” said SDHC President & CEO Richard C. Gentry. 

 

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