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City Opens Transitional Camp Area for Homeless Individuals

Mayor Faulconer, Alpha Project Welcome Unsheltered People to New Camp Area That Provides Safe and Sanitary Living Conditions

Monday, October 9, 2017 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – By midday today more than 65 homeless individuals had moved into a Transitional Camp Area opened by the City of San Diego and operated by nonprofit Alpha Project. The camp area will provide a clean and sanitary place to stay while ongoing efforts to address the hepatitis A outbreak and construction of three temporary bridge shelters continue. Alpha Project will continue to move people into the camp area over the next several days.

“This camp area will give our most vulnerable residents a temporary reprieve from the harsh conditions they face living on our streets,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “This will be a starting point for a lot of folks to turn their lives around and reach the ultimate goal of permanent housing. It’s also a public-private partnership between the City, Alpha Project and the business community that shows what we can do when we work together toward the shared goal of reducing homelessness.”

Last week Mayor Faulconer announced the parking lot at a City-owned operations yard at 20th and B streets be converted into a Transitional Camp Area where homeless individuals will be allowed to pitch a tent as well as have access to bathrooms, showers, handwashing stations, storage for belongings and meals. Upon their arrival this morning, occupants were welcomed with snacks, the opportunity to get a hepatitis A vaccination, and were given a new tent.

Among the first to check in Monday to the camp were women, families, elderly and disabled individuals.

The Alpha Project will run the camp area with an on-site manager, 24-hour security, and a shuttle service to transport people.

As individuals check in, they must register to be assigned a 13-foot-by-13-foot campsite, with each space able to accommodate two tents and several people. In all, the camp area has about 130 campsites and will have the potential to accommodate a few hundred individuals.

Some of the supplies at the Transitional Camp Area were donated by Target Corp. in support of Alpha Project.

This short-term Transitional Camp Area will remain open until the three temporary bridge shelters are up and running in early winter. Those large industrial tent shelters will house about 750 homeless individuals in three locations: downtown, Barrio Logan and the Midway District.

“City staff and the team at Alpha Project have done excellent work in the last several days to get this transitional camp area up and running with sanitation and security to minimize the impact on the Golden Hill community,” said City Councilmember Chris Ward, Chair of the City’s Select Committee on Homelessness. “With thousands of unsheltered homeless at risk on our streets and in our alleys and canyons, this is an important step forward for hundreds in need and hopefully a model for transitioning people out of harm’s way and into the pipeline for permanent shelter.”

Bridge shelters, funded in part by the philanthropic support of business leaders Peter Seidler and Dan Shea, are an innovative approach that reflect best practices in serving the most vulnerable members of the homeless population. They will serve as a crucial transition point where housing navigators will work with men and women without shelter to find them a permanent housing placement.

CONTACT: Greg Block at 619-227-3752 or [email protected]

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