New bridge shelter’s impact on San Diego homeless crisis
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The city of San Diego and its partner organizations opened a new bridge shelter Tuesday for the city’s homeless residents, helping them transition into permanent housing.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Councilman Chris Ward joined representatives of the San Diego Housing Commission and the Alpha Project to open the shelter at the corner of 17th Street and Imperial Avenue. The facility is the fourth such shelter opened in the last two years and will bring the city’s number of homeless shelter beds to 793.
The other three shelters — run by the Alpha Project, Veterans Village of San Diego and Father Joe’s Villages — offer multiple services and amenities, including showers, restrooms, 24-hour security, job training and drug and alcohol abuse counseling. Each of the existing shelters serves a different population: single adults, veterans and single women and families.
The city first established the shelters in 2017 following the region’s hepatitis A outbreak, which killed 20 people and infected dozens more, many of them homeless. The City Council, acting as the San Diego Housing Authority, approved 12-month extensions for all three shelters in June.
Faulconer, Ward, the Housing Commission and the Alpha Project opened the shelter and offered tours Tuesday morning. The shelter is located at 1710 Imperial Ave. and offers 128 beds, according to city officials.
Mayor Faulconer says the new shelter will successfully address San Diego’s chronic homeless problem, but critics say it’s just a costly band-aid.