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San Diego’s 1,000-Bed Homeless Shelter Plan Faces Public Scrutiny as Plan Up for Initial Hearing

San Diego’s 1,000-Bed Homeless Shelter Plan Faces Public Scrutiny as Plan Up for Initial Hearing

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria’s plan to establish a 1,000-bed homeless shelter near the San Diego airport and the Interstate 5 freeway is set to receive its initial public hearing before the San Diego City Council.

The council has convened for closed sessions on four occasions to deliberate on various matters, including the lease of a 65,000-square foot warehouse located at Kettner Boulevard and Vine Street. Additionally, they have discussed the allocation of public funds to ensure the property meets the necessary standards for habitation.

California’s open meetings law, known as the Ralph M. Brown Act, permits the council to engage in confidential discussions regarding real estate transactions prior to making a public decision.

A joint statement released late Monday by Gloria and City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera announced an open-session debate over the plan.

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“The city has been actively engaged in negotiations to prioritize the interests of taxpayers, aiming to reduce costs and secure more favorable deal terms. These efforts have been guided by feedback from the public and City Council,” the statement explained. The Mayor plans to request a public hearing for the proposed Kettner and Vine homeless shelter, and the Council President has pledged to handle the request promptly.

After the deal is confirmed, it needs to go through a thorough review by the City Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Independent Budget Analyst before it can be voted on by the council. This process is expected to last for several weeks.

Gloria believes that the shelter is crucial in addressing the issue of homelessness by providing a safe space for individuals to transition from the streets to permanent housing as per KPBS News.

The city’s shelter system is consistently full, leaving many individuals living on the streets with nowhere else to turn. Unfortunately, a number of homeless shelters are set to shut down this year, which will result in a further reduction of available beds in the city.

In January, officials and volunteers tallied over 10,600 individuals in San Diego County who were experiencing homelessness, with the majority lacking proper shelter. There has been a significant increase of 18.2% compared to the count from the previous year.

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