Homeless shelters could close due to lack of funding

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homeless lines at shelterSAN DIEGO – Former Mayor Bob Filner pushed for the city’s two winter homeless shelters to remain open yearlong, but city officials now say he did not budget for them accurately.

That means the shelters are in danger of closing after next April.

“It’s really a practice of over-promising and under-delivering,” said Council President Todd Gloria, who is serving as Interim Mayor following Filner’s resignation.

Gloria said city officials are now looking at the budget gap and trying to decide if funding for yearlong shelters is even a possibility.

“We want to do more to care about the homeless in our community to solve this problem and ultimately save taxpayer money. But you’ve got to fund it like you mean it and in this case that was not what he did.”

The possibility that the shelters will close is a scary situation for Pamela Cooks. She currently stays with more than 200 other people at the Alpha Project. The tent shelter is located in downtown San Diego.

“You think you have it bad and then you hear somebody elses story and they have it just as bad or worse,” said Cooks.

Cooks is currently battling ovarian cancer. When the bills started piling up she ended up homeless.

“I get chemotherapy twice a month,” said Cooks. “I’m a diabetic as well. My insulin is kept in the refrigerator. I’m on 58 meds a day so there’s no way I can be on the street.”

Cooks and others at the homeless shelters will continue having a warm bed until at least April. The City Council already agreed to fund the facilities until then.

Gloria said he plans to visit both shelters and talk to those involved. He said the City Council is committed to at least trying to find a solution.

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