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Mayors office releases list of proposed shelter sites

October 7, 2009 - 12:37 pm

Last month, Mayor Jerry Sanders’ office asked each member of the San Diego City Council to come up with a list of possible winter homeless shelter sites in their own districts. Since all eight councilmembers failed to do so, city staff did it for them, today releasing a five-page list of list of 27 possible shelter sites (PDF). A site needs to be selected at the Oct. 13 City Council meeting.

Last year, the city spent $140,000 preparing a shelter site. Many on the list would require similar remediation. Others come with nonstarter issues like being too close to a school, not meeting Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility requirements or the site’s simply not large enough for the tent that the city borrows each year from the Port District.

A report to the council (PDF) provides answers to questions various council members raised in place of submitting possible shelter locations. District 4 Councilmember Tony Young, for instance, wanted to know why the city can’t do a hotel/motel voucher program. Response: The shelter houses 220 men and women for four months; vouchers would cover only 41 days. Councilmember Carl DeMaio wondered why the city couldn’t use Golden Hall, located in the Civic Center, to serve as a reminder to city officials of the need for a permanent shelter site. Response: Golden Hall’s rented out for events and using it for the shelter would mean a loss in revenue for the city of roughly $218,000.

Missing from the report is an answer to a question raised by at least two councilmembers in memos and at a meeting: why the city can’t use last year’s site, located at 15th and J streets. The site’s owned by OliverMcMillan; Dene Oliver is the former chair of the regional Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. Initially an OliverMcMillan representative told city staff that OM had recevied stimulus money to do remediation on the site and there was a deadline attached to spending that money. But, as I reported two weeks ago, that deadline isn’t until September 2011.

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