San Diego – Hundreds of homeless residents are doing what they can as San Diego braces for the next storm. The city has activated more resources to offer them relief from the rain.
It’s an alert that was activated Monday and Tuesday which opens the doors to a variety of shelters. The homeless population can check in for the night but advocates say this effort is not enough.
Kimberly Hickman said Monday that she doesn’t know where she would be spending the night. Hickman has been homeless for years and claims the hardest moments are surviving mother nature’s wrath.
“It’s really hard because the tents I have are priceless, but I lost them two days ago when we got raided by the police” said Hickman.
She is one of thousands of homeless residents calling the streets of San Diego home and dealing with the wet winter season.
“People aren’t going to get better sleeping under a bridge or in a riverbed or in a canyon somewhere” said homeless activist Michael McConnell.
The City of San Diego in partnership with the San Diego Housing Commission have opened the doors at several shelters during the upcoming storm.
McConnell says the city’s Inclement Weather Shelter program is not enough.
For Tuesday night, homeless residents can check in at Living Water Church of the Nazarene on 1550 Market Street, the San Diego Rescue Mission at 120 Elm Street or the Father Joe’s Villages Shelter at 1501 Imperial Avenue.
Each location has limited space and you can find more information here.
“What we need is a continuous focus effort with the right strategies and resources behind them to make progress in this issue” said McConnell.
Over the weekend, California Governor Gavin Newsom addressed the issue with an initiative targeting the homeless, addiction and mental health problems across the state. This initiative will be placed on the November 2024 ballot.
“The State of California has created this crisis through its faulty legislation” said President and CEO of Solutions for Change Chris Megison.
He said change needs to happen with new laws, meaning more options for organizations like his to help those down on their luck like Hickman.
“I’ve been without tents and blankets. I used to stay near the dog parks and take blankets but they caught me. I only went there because it was safe” added Hickman.
Homeless residents who check into these shelters must checkout at sunrise.