New storage site opens to help homeless, keep neighborhood clean

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SAN DIEGO -- Mayor Kevin Faulconer Monday joined community leaders to open the City of San Diego’s third storage center where homeless individuals can safely store their belongings while they access supportive services to improve their health, job and housing situations.

Located on Lea Street in the El Cerrito neighborhood, the new Storage Connect Center opens following community outreach and several public forums that resulted in the city.

The new site will be operated by Mental Health Systems (MHS), a nonprofit organization that also offers programs to help individuals, families and communities impacted by substance abuse and behavioral health disorders.

MHS also operates another of the city’s other storage facilities that opened last year in Logan Heights. A third site in downtown San Diego is operated by the nonprofit Think Dignity.

Combined, the three storage centers have the capacity for 1,130 bins and 304 lockers, with the ability to serve over 1,400 individuals at any given time.

“This is all about trying to eliminate the hurdles that keep homeless individuals from accessing the help they need to get their lives back on track,” Mayor Faulconer said. “This new storage center will give them the ability to safely store their personal belongings while they work to regain their independence by going to work, to class or to the doctor. We’re also making the commitment that the surrounding neighborhood will be cleaner and safer as a result.”

Last year, Mayor Faulconer asked city councilmembers to identify potential sites in their districts for additional storage centers. The El Cerrito location was selected.

“Gone are the encampments, the oversized vehicle parking, the unsanctioned RV campground, illegal dumping, and ongoing degradation of Chollas Creek,” said Vickie Church, an Oak Park community member. “This facility is another step towards dealing with homelessness challenges."

Since opening in June 2018, the Storage Connect Center in Logan Heights has served over 1,000 homeless individuals. The Center has connected nearly 100 individuals to their own stable housing units.

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