First of three tents to house the homeless opens its doors - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

First of three tents to house the homeless opens its doors

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SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The first of three large tents to shelter San Diego's homeless opened Friday in Barrio Logan.

What the mayor's office calls a "bridge shelter'' is housing single adults, and is being operated by the nonprofit Alpha Project. The site at 16th Street and Newton Avenue is where the city housed the homeless in tents during the cold weather months for several years.

The cold weather program was ended a couple of years ago in favor of more permanent solutions, but the area's population grew rapidly.

City officials were pressured to act by an outbreak of hepatitis A that killed 20 people and sickened hundreds — about two-thirds of whom were either homeless, users of illegal drugs or both. The rate of new infections has slowed in recent weeks.

Two other shelters are scheduled to open, providing beds for up to 700 people at a time. One will be nearby the current facility and operated by Father Joe's Villages. The other will be in the Midway District, operated by Veterans Village of San Diego.

They'll include meals, showers, restrooms, 24-hour security, connections to alcohol and substance abuse counseling, job training and mental health services, according to the city.

Each resident will be assigned a case manager and housing navigator who will develop a plan to get them permanently housed.

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