SAN DIEGO — The City Council gave final approval Monday to a $1 million plan to keep San Diego’s two emergency homeless tents operating until June 30, which is the end of the fiscal year.
The funding for the three-month extension for the Single Adult Homeless Emergency Shelter in Barrio Logan and the Veterans Homeless Emergency Shelter in the Midway District was among $22.9 million in expenditures recommended earlier this month — made possible by a projected budget surplus.
Ex-Mayor Bob Filner had promised to keep the shelters opened year-round but, according to Council President Todd Gloria, didn’t allocate enough money. Gloria became interim mayor after Filner resigned at the end of last August.
Gloria has proposed a shift in how the city funds homeless programs, which means the tents might not be re-raised when the nights turn chilly in November.
“This is not a best practice, in that we cannot continue to use the tent system as a means to try to end homelessness,” Gloria said. “It won’t do it. It won’t accomplish anything. It never will. It hasn’t in other communities.”
He’s put forward a plan for the next fiscal year to reallocate money for homeless programs to expand the city’s homeless outreach team and enlarge a facility where people living on the streets can store their belongings while they look for work or keep medical or counseling appointments, among other things.
The Alpha Project runs the single adult shelter, which is located at 16th Street and Newton Avenue. Veterans Village of San Diego operates the veterans shelter at 2801 1/2 Sports Arena Blvd.
A lease by the Navy, which owns the site of the veterans shelter, had been set to expire April 10, but it has been extended to June 30, according to city staff.
Of the $1 million funding, $670,000 will be used to extend the tent operations, while $185,000 will go to provide more case management and help residents find other housing, and the remaining $144,000 will be spent on administration, maintenance and repairs.