Packed house protests new apartments for the homeless

SAN DIEGO -- Angry residents packed into a community meeting Wednesday to voice concerns about a proposed homeless housing project in Clairemont Mesa.

The project, the Mt. Alifan Apartments, is a development that would house and provide services for people who have recently experienced homelessness, with the hopes of providing a more stable, sustainable lifestyle.

But the project, backed by the Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation, has drawn concern from residents who say that safety issues and other problems associated with the development would hit too close to home.

Community members packed the SDG&E Energy Innovation Center on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard Wednesday to share that message with nonprofit developers and service providers from the project.

The center was so crowded with attendees that residents spilled out the doors. They provided plenty of input on the proposed 52 units of permanent housing at 5858 Mt. Alifan Drive.

"I agree that they need help, I agree that they need to find a location,"  said resident Mark Bromley, a vocal opponent of the project. "But Clairemont is not the location to be had."

Wakeland COO Rebecca Louie said that the developers, "completely understand [residents'] fears," calling the community's reaction "very common."

But Louie hoped that when neighbors learned more about the project's approach to homeless housing and services, it would ease some of their concerns: "It's a very different model and it's working really well."