Advocates applaud decision to turn Golden Hall into homeless shelter

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SAN DIEGO — Homeless advocates from both the private and public sector met Monday to talk about San Diego’s homeless crisis and applaud the city of San Diego’s recent decision to turn the Civic Center’s Golden Hall into a temporary homeless shelter.

Peter Seidler is the founder of the Tuesday Group, a group that aspires to help solve the homeless issue by developing a “best in class” strategy that puts action of over lip service.  Seidler is a prominent San Diego businessman and investor, and one of the biggest stakeholders in the San Diego Padres. He said the time for talk about the homeless crisis is over.

First on the Tuesday Group’s  list of priorities is getting  housing for 150 women and children at a downtown shelter. They will soon be displaced when Father Joe’s Villages takes down their Bridge Tent to make way for a 14-story, low-income, permanent housing facility.

Dan Shay is another successful San Diego businessman and a founding member of the Tuesday Group. He said that many of the city’s most vulnerable people end up on the streets. Among the victims are “foster kids who turn 18 and get lost in the system and the elderly who can’t afford the homes, addicts,” Shay said.

Fran Butler Cohen is the CEO of Family Health Centers of San Diego.  The group provides health services to poor and homeless individuals. She said the actual number of homeless is not accurately accounted for in official statistics.

“Last year our organization served 27,000 homeless people in our system of care –  a number that differs greatly from the (official) count,” Cohen said.

The official estimate is 8,000 to 9,000 homeless in San Diego.


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