SAN DIEGO — Two members of the San Diego City Council proposed Monday that the former Chargers training facility in Murphy Canyon be used for a temporary shelter for the homeless.
Council members Lorie Zapf and David Alvarez said they will ask that a shelter be erected at the site along Murphy Canyon Road, not far from SDCCU Stadium, because it’s owned by the city and has sat unused since the Chargers moved to Los Angeles County.
The facility is included in some of the proposals for redeveloping the stadium site, but it’s likely to remain vacant for at least a couple of years. However, Alvarez said no actual proposal is before city officials now.
“I don’t want a city asset to be under-utilized for the next four years, until someone figures it out,” Alvarez told NBC San Diego.
Zapf and Alvarez said there’s been “an explosion of homeless encampments” along the nearby San Diego River. They called the situation “an environmental nightmare” that could prove dangerous with the approach of the rainy season.
Councilman Scott Sherman, who represents Mission Valley, has referred numerous times in public statements to the discovery in April of a trash-filled encampment beside the river that included a bicycle chop-shop, stolen items and human waste.
Last month, volunteers with the San Diego River Park Foundation counted more than 100 homeless encampments along the waterway, almost double the amount tallied last year.
There have also been recent anecdotal reports of homeless people driven out of downtown San Diego as the city and county took steps to deal with a hepatitis A outbreak, migrating north to the river.