SAN DIEGO – The development of a new bridge shelter for San Diegans experiencing homelessness is underway in the Midway District with the facility planned to be operational in July.
Construction on the first arches of the shelter, donated and paid for by the Lucky Duck Foundation, began Tuesday on county-owned land at 3851 Rosecrans St. near the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital. Once open, the shelter will serve up to 150 people and is expected to be available seven days a week with on-site behavioral health services.
Also featured at the facility will be meals, showers, bathrooms, laundry facilities and storage as well as connections for mental health and medical care needs.
Elected officials, service providers and community members gathered Tuesday to assemble the shelter’s first arches and lift them into place. Its opening is being heralded by local leaders who long have attempted to get their arms around the community’s homelessness crisis.
“We have recently taken several actions at the County to help cities address homelessness, from behavioral health services and standard agreements to funding new shelters, but this partnership is unprecedented because we are placing a shelter on County-owned land,” San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher said in a statement.
Fletcher added, “The Lucky Duck Foundation and the City of San Diego are great partners and this new collaboration will help more individuals experiencing homelessness in the Midway community leave the encampments and get into a stable environment.”
Homelessness is up at least 10% in the county, data collected in the 2022 WeAllCount Point-in-Time Count shows. Between those living in shelters and elsewhere, volunteers tallied 8,427 people experiencing homelessness.
It is considered to be the minimum number since counting every single person living in cars, canyons and under bridges is seen as an “impossible” task, according to the Regional Task Force on Homelessness.
In a statement, Mayor Todd Gloria said the city’s shelters are consistently at more than 90% occupancy, arguing the collaboration to build the bridge shelter “will help us get even more people safely off the street.”
“Shelter is an immediate solution to get folks connected to support services and on a pathway to permanent or long-term housing,” Gloria said. “This facility will get hundreds more San Diegans on that path.”
Construction is expected to take about four weeks to complete.