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The neverending shower-rehab project

March 4, 2010 - 5:04 pm

There’s that new show on HGTV where contractor Mike Holmes comes in and saves a home rehab project gone wrong. Maybe he can head over to San Diego to tape his next episode.

The Neil Good Day Center, a city-owned property where homeless people can hang out during the day, has been showerless for roughly two years, when social services provider St. Vincent de Paul took over operation of the facility. In September, we started hearing complaints from folks who said the showers hadn’t been repaired and, instead, the space was being used for storage. Here’s an excerpt from the article that ran in our Sept. 9, 2009 issue:

“The facility was not in great shape when we assumed responsibility,” said Mathew Packard, St. Vincent de Paul’s vice president of development.

St. Vincent’s asked for, and received, an additional $38,000 to pay for basic repairs. And in July of last year, the San Diego City Council earmarked $76,158 in federal Community Development Block Grant money (CDBG) for larger maintenance projects: fixing the center’s showers—which a site inspection found to have “insufficient plumbing and improper ventilation”—adding an outdoor shade/rain structure and landscaping the center’s large yard.

More than one year later, the showers are being used as a storage area, and the yard, stripped of almost all vegetation, resembles a middle-of-nowhere rest stop. Anyone who wishes to take a shower has to walk one block up and one block over to St. Vincent de Paul’s Joan Kroc Center at 16th and Imperial.

At that point, Packard said city staff had told him that the money for repairs was “pending.” We couldn’t get much of an answer, either. It appeared that there was confusion between city departments over who should oversee the repairs. But, we were told, a new project manager had been assigned to the project and things should get moving along soon.

Another six months have passed and still no showers. In October 2009, the city signed an agreement with St. Vincent de Paul to repair everything but the showers.

San Diego City Councilmember Donna Frye’s been trying to get an answer, too. Frye brought up the showers up at a City Council meeting this afternoon. When no one was able to provide a repair timeline, she demanded that city staff find the person who knows what’s going on. A couple hours later, staff returned and told Frye that plans for the shower repair are expected to be completed in October and the whole project will be done by April 2012.


That’s four years to repair a space that includes maybe four or five shower stalls.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 8, 2010 - 2:54 pm 2:54 pm

    Find the staff person responsible for having the showers repaired. LMAO. Good luck with that. I’m sure if that person is ever located, the city employee will have the standard civil servant reply: “That’s not part of my job.”

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