Winter homeless shelter opens

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BARRIO LOGAN, Calif. — San Diego’s homeless adult emergency winter shelter opened Saturday in Barrio Logan.

For the first time, referrals from homeless service providers will identify the most vulnerable men and women in need of shelter, replacing the nightly lottery system which had been in place. Those deemed most needy will be served first at the shelter which can accommodate up to 200 people. Those admitted will be provided resources to help them secure more permanent housing.

New procedures at the emergency shelter this year included enhanced supportive services, reduced length of shelter stays to 45 days and ramped-up efforts to keep the neighborhood surrounding the shelter clean and safe while it is operating. It is at 1601 Newton Ave.

Homeless referrals are part of the new Coordinated Assessment and Housing Placement (CAHP) sytem being utilized by downtown homeless service providers. Providers can now instantly share information to screen homeless, track their backgrounds and direct them to the most appropriate housing options. CAHP uses data gathered through a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s 2015 budget, approved in June, includes $400,000 in one-time funding for a system-wide homeless coordinated assessment and housing placement program.

The city’s Homeless Shelters and Services Programs historically have included two temporary structures providing shelter for the homeless during the winter months. The city has implemented an emergency winter shelter program for adult homeless every winter since 1987 to tide them over during the year’s coldest and wettest months.

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