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ESCONDIDO, Calif. — By the mayor’s account, there are an estimated 400 to 500 homeless people in Escondido. Many of them hang around Grape Day Park.

Not too far from there, is the Interfaith Community Services facility.

For many years, it has operated a shelter for the homeless during the winter months.

Now, with the support of the city and its police department, the shelter will be open year round.

“When you think about it, if you’re sleeping on park bench or underneath a tree, it’s very difficult to do anything, difficult to find a job, difficult to keep a job, if you have a shelter/roof over your head, albeit rather minimal, it makes a world of difference,” said Greg Anglea, Executive Director with Interfaith Community Services.

According to Anglea, the shelter will offer more than just a place to sleep providing food, counseling, job placement, recovery and mental health. He believes the average stay will be six to eight weeks.

The shelter will be remodeled and expand to hold 49 beds for men and women. Two bathrooms and office space will be added.

It should be in operation by December 1st.