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January 4, 2018

City’s Third Temporary Bridge Shelter Opens to Serve Homeless Families and Women

Three bridge shelters will provide a total of up to 700 beds for homeless San Diegans, with operations funded by the San Diego Housing Commission

SAN DIEGO, CA — The City of San Diego’s third and final Temporary Bridge Shelter opened today, providing beds and supportive services for up to 150 individuals, including men, women and children who are part of a family and single women, with operations funded by the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC).

“We’ll be providing meals, beds and showers, but I think most importantly, supportive services, to help people get back on a path to a better life,” Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer said at a news conference today.

This shelter will be operated by Father Joe’s Villages at 14 th and Commercial streets. Two additional shelters opened in December:

  • 16th Street and Newton Avenue: Up to 350 beds for single adults. Operated by Alpha Project.
  • 2801 ½ Sports Arena Boulevard: Up to 200 beds for Veterans. Operated by Veterans Village of San Diego.

“As the Chair of the City’s Select Committee on Homelessness, I think nothing’s been more important for me in my tenure on the City Council and representing the neighborhoods of District 3 than addressing and finally bringing real solutions that are ‘Housing First’ oriented to be able to help those facing homelessness,” said City Councilmember Chris Ward, who also serves as Vice Chair of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless.

SDHC is providing more than $6.5 million in funding for operations of the three shelters through June 30, 2018. In addition, SDHC invested $1.1 million toward start-up costs to help ensure that the shelters opened as quickly as possible.

“With operations funded by the San Diego Housing Commission, these shelters will assist the most vulnerable homeless individuals and families in the City of San Diego. As these homeless San Diegans exit to permanent housing with the ‘Housing First’ model—including housing opportunities created through the Housing Commission’s HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO homelessness action plan—the shelters will be able to help additional homeless families and individuals,” SDHC President & CEO Richard C. Gentry said.

Bridge shelters are unique because they provide a safe place to stay – or a “bridge” – for individuals or families who are enrolled in a permanent housing program, but have not yet moved into a permanent unit while they await permanent housing placement.

“The individuals and families staying with us will have access to the comprehensive services located on our campus. These supportive services include childcare, integrated healthcare, psychiatry, addiction treatment, employment training, chaplaincy, and the Wellness Program,” said Father Joe’s Villages President & CEO Deacon Jim Vargas.

Services at all three shelters also include housing navigation staff who will assist shelter residents in finding and accessing safe, permanent housing.

Among the goals for all three shelters are that 65 percent of program participants will exit to permanent housing and that of those, no more than 15 percent will return to shelters within 12 months.

Mayor Faulconer first announced the bridge shelters on September 13, 2017, to address homelessness and combat the regional Hepatitis A outbreak in the City of San Diego.

On November 14, 2017, the San Diego City Council authorized SDHC to expend $6.5 million of SDHC funds for shelter operations from December 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018.

Extensions of operations require the approval of the City Council, sitting as the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego.

Donations from local business leaders covered the City’s costs to buy and construct two of the three Sprung structures that are providing shelter.


Media Contact:
Scott Marshall
Vice President of Communications
San Diego Housing Commission
(619) 578-7138


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