SAN DIEGO — As part of a series highlighting the proposed 2024 budget, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria held a news conference Monday morning focusing on how he aims to use city funds to find solutions to solve the number one crisis in the city, homelessness.
Under his proposed “Getting It Done” budget for the year, $78 million will be allocated to homelessness services, including $24 million to continue funding existing shelters and $5 million to kickstart a new “Safe Sleeping” program.
As Gloria explained, the new program will help support unhoused San Diegans currently living in tents, providing them a safe place to stay while still getting access to a full range of supportive services.
“(This) will provide safe, legal places for people to sleep in tents without blocking sidewalks,” Gloria said during the conference.
The first of these sites, which Gloria announced Monday, will be at the city’s central operation station located at 20th and B streets. A second site will be opened in Balboa Park at a site currently known as the O lot near the naval hospital.
Another primary focus of the plan is to repurpose sites in San Diego that can be used to house people experiencing homelessness, he continued.
The backdrop to Gloria’s conference was what used to be a Travel Lodge hotel, which will open as a family shelter this summer. It will provide 42 rooms for up to 168 individuals, Gloria said.
The City Council’s Budget Review Committee will review the proposed budget for the city’s Homelessness Strategies and Solutions department on Tuesday at 9 a.m.