Shelter residents forced out by flooding get help from San Diego’s community

SAN DEIGO (KUSI) – Most of San Diego is drying out, after last Thursday”s heavy downpour, but the people living in a homeless shelter in San Diego’s East Village are still coping with the effects of that storm.

Flood waters forced nearly 300 people out of the Alpha Project bridge tent and into a temporary emergency shelter at the S.D.C.C.U. stadium.

KUSI’S Sasha Foo visited the site of the bridge shelter at 16th and Newton and saw city crews working hard on pumping water out and disposing of materials contaminated by last week’s flooding.

With the help of San Diego police, firefighters, and the lifeguards’ swift water rescue team, occupants of the shelter were moved out of the Alpha Project tent on Thursday night and transported by Metropolitan Transit System buses to the stadium in Mission Valley. Most of shelter occupants left with little more than the clothes on their back.

Since then, residents of the bridge tent have been adjusting to the new quarters at the stadium and according to Alpha Project C.E.O. Bob McElroy, their spirits are good. “We’re all tucked in, nice, warm and cozy. We’ve got TV, we’ve got heating, we’ve got good meals and we’ve got tons of donations,” McElroy said. He said the offers of help from the community have been especially heartening. Scores of community members have been arriving at the stadium, with donations of clothing, blankets, shoes and food. Some groups have also been cooking meals. “The most important part to me and to our residents is the fact they’ve seen the outpouring of concern and care and generosity from the community,” McElroy said.

The City has not yet indicated when crews will finish the tent clean-up and when the Alpha Project can return to the bridge shelter. McElroy said he’s hoping the East Village shelter will re-open in about a week and he said he still plans to hold a Christmas party at the tent.

Categories: Local San Diego News