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Second Temporary Bridge Shelter Opens With Focus on Homeless Veterans

Mayor Faulconer and Veterans Village of S.D. Welcome First Clients to Site that will Shelter up to 200 Daily

Friday, December 22, 2017 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – In another step toward reducing homelessness in San Diego, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer today was joined by County Supervisor Ron Roberts and City Councilmember Lorie Zapf to open the second of three Temporary Bridge Shelters intended to provide people relief from the streets and connect unsheltered veterans to permanent housing. Operated by Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD), this Temporary Bridge Shelter will provide supportive services for up to 200 homeless veterans per day.

“San Diego has a long and proud history of supporting our active duty military and our veterans alike,” Mayor Faulconer said. “Some of these heroes who find themselves in desperate situations, now have another place they can turn. Under this roof, hundreds of men and women will find relief from the elements and the dignity they deserve while trained housing navigators work to connect them with a permanent home. We are changing how the city tackles this homeless crisis so that people have a safe, clean place to stay right now as an alternative to spending another night on the streets.”

Located in the Midway district on the 2800 block of Sports Arena Blvd., the VVSD Temporary Bridge Shelter will provide a variety of supportive services that are found in the other two shelters. This shelter will also include access to services specific to veterans, including:

  • On-Site Services:
    • Permanent Housing Interventions Programs: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH), and Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
    • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical and Disability Benefit Registration
    • Employment Services: Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP)
  • Referral Partners:
    • All VVSD Programs
    • All SSVF Programs
    • VA Programs
    • Vet Centers
    • Aspire Center
    • Courage to Call

Other supportive services offered include:

    • 24-hour security
    • Storage
    • Meals
    • Showers
    • Bathrooms
    • Laundry services
    • Alcohol and substance abuse counseling
    • Mental health services
    • Job training
    • Health care
    • Case managers/Housing Navigators to help people transition into permanent housing

“This shelter is particularly worthy and is providing a temporary home for those who have served our nation,” Councilmember Zapf said. “I can’t think of a better holiday gift for those living on the streets than to have a bed, warm food and the services they need. Thank you Mayor for your vision and leadership.”

Many U.S. veterans experience conditions that place them at increased risk for homelessness. Veterans have higher rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), sexual assault, and substance abuse than the general population. According to the Regional Task Force on the Homeless annual Point-in-Time Count, there are more than 1,000 homeless veterans in San Diego.

 

“For over 35 years, Veterans Village of San Diego has answered the call to step in and provide services to our San Diegan Veterans, especially the homeless veterans,” said Kim Mitchell, President and CEO, VVSD. “We are honored to be asked to partner with the City of San Diego, San Diego Housing Commission, and the other partner service organizations to be a part of the solution to get our homeless veterans off the streets of San Diego, provide them some much needed services, and transition them into a permanent housing solution quickly and safely. We thank Navy Region Southwest, Naval Base Point Loma, and the community of the Midway district for working with us in a partnership to set up this Temporary Bridge Shelter tent for our homeless veterans.”

The first Temporary Bridge Shelter, which opened Dec. 1, is located at 16th Street and Newton Avenue downtown. It serves single adults and is operated by Alpha Project. The final shelter – operated by Father Joe’s Villages in the East Village – will serve homeless families and is scheduled to open by Dec. 31.

 

“We have a housing crisis in San Diego County, and it is a ‘Housing First’ approach that will ultimately bring us out of that crisis,” said Supervisor Ron Roberts, who also serves as chairman of the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless. “But until we have the housing to achieve our long term goals, leaving people to live on sidewalks, or in our riverbeds and alleys, is not an option.”

The addition of the three Temporary Bridge Shelters brings the City’s total number of shelter beds to 2,040.

 

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

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