National City Homeless Center strives to provide shelter in a new way
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – At the South Bay Community Church, two buildings will be turned into a transition center and officials say it will be a resting place for homeless people to figure out their next steps and not return to the streets.
“I want people to know that I’m not happy about this,” Mayor Todd Gloria shared Thursday morning.
He addressed the stage at Sports Arena Boulevard. He shared that over 3 tons of trash was picked up on Tuesday alone.
But the problem remains: getting those who are not protected off the streets. Mayor Todd Gloria says it remains an ongoing effort. He says the City of San Diego hopes to turn the efforts in the Midway District into a weekly commitment.
The main objective is to prevent epidemics in the Sports Arena Boulevard encampment, which is why cleaning resumed on Thursday.
Mayor Gloria told a press conference that this year approximately 1,000 supportive housing units are currently in the works, and next week Father Joe’s Villages will unveil 400 homes.
He added that the city is looking to find hotels and apartments they can convert under California’s HOMEKEY program. The City of San Diego has received funding from this program in the past and expects further funding.
The mayor believes long-term housing is the long-term solution, however, he says the problem is often finding potential locations. They can no longer say that and expect this problem to go away.
There is a new movement in National City to try to help the homeless in a different way than has been done in the past.
The San Diego Rescue Mission calls it a navigation center.
A small location in Oceanside is already in the works. But at South Bay Community Church, two buildings will be transformed into a transition center.
Donnie Dee, CEO of San Diego Rescue Mission, said it would be a resting place for homeless people to figure out their next steps and not have them back on the streets.
“We want to be able to walk you from day one to health, stability, work and sobriety,” Dee said.
The center will be the first of its kind in the South Bay. It will allow homeless people to have housing for up to 30 days.
“It’s not a queue outside and walk in and have a meal. It’s not a soup kitchen. It’s not a place where we provide services to the general public,” Dee points out. .
“This is a drop off center, and once you come in here and are admitted, we work with you through case management to figure out what your issues are and which one is best for you. help you take the next step in life.”
Dee says their community outreach will be with shower trailers, providing conversation and a clean bathroom.
There will be more than 160 beds, enough to help the 150 homeless people living in National City, according to National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis. The site will also have a kitchen, toilets and a playground.
More importantly, Dee points to a back room: “We’re going to make it a full-fledged day center.”
The drop-in center will act as a beacon of hope for single women, single men, families, single parents and children. Mayor Sotelo-Solis believes this will be a place where those seeking comfort, conversation and assistance can receive it.
“We don’t want deals. We want long-term solutions.”
Mayor Sotelo-Solis shares the difference this center will make compared to other sites is that here the case managers and staff will work on a daily basis with those who have never thought about their future, an opportunity to create one.
“People see the need. They see it when they walk out of the grocery store or someone breaks into the car,” Mayor Sotelo-Solis said.
“That’s how we start putting drops in the bucket, to make more splashes to say look, that’s how we end homelessness.”
San Diego Rescue Mission hopes to open its doors by the end of this year. The project will cost around $2-3 million.
There is a lot on the property which, for now, is considered open space. However, Mayor Sotelo-Solis believes that this parcel could potentially be used for affordable housing in the future.