A motel site is now housing for homeless veterans

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The first residents are moving into a new San Diego development for homeless veterans.

Zephyr, a supportive housing project for 84 veterans was built on the site of what used to be a Motel 6 in Grantville, a neighborhood east of SDCCU Stadium.

KUSI got a first look at the $27 million project a few weeks ahead of its formal grand opening on May 15.

The developer, Affirmed Housing began construction in November, 2017 and was able to bring down the costs of construction by building on the bones of the old motel. Jimmy Silverwood, a vice president at Affirmed Housing said it was not easy obtaining permission to use the land and said the process is too time consuming and may be unnecessary.

“We need to figure how we can take that piece out of the process so we can get these folks housed quicker,” Silverwood said.

A second building on the property which was once a Denny’s restaurant has been remodeled as a community area for tenants to gather, watch television and socialize while also providing offices for a staff of caseworkers.

Caseworker Glenn Porter who works with PATH, a homeless service provider said caseworkers are assigned to each resident, to arrange medical appointments, transportation, and help with other tasks that can keep the newly housed veteran from returning to life on the street.

“The population that we serve, if we just take them and put them in an apartment and then just say ‘You’re housed,’ it would be a set-up for failure because they need a continuum of services which we offer,” Porter said.

Having a safe and stable place to live is a brand new experience for the tenants, some of whom have been homeless for 10 to 20 years.

KUSI’s Sasha Foo talked to some of the tenants who are already making themselves at home.

Categories: Local San Diego News