California News

County awards $5 million more for homeless shelters in four cities

A second and final round of grants San Diego County is providing to local cities will help expand or continue lodging programs in San Diego, Carlsbad, Chula Vista and Escondido.

With the number of homeless people living without shelter rising across the county, the Board of Supervisors in May offered $10 million to cities to fund shelters, safe campsites, cabins or other programs that would help get people off the streets.

Grants announced Thursday will provide $2 million to expand Catholic Charities’ La Posada de Guadalupe shelter in Carlsbad, $1.8 million for pallet homes in Chula Vista, $736,000 for a family shelter in Escondido, $393,000 for a 34-room seniors’ shelter in San Diego and $350,000 for a 42-bed family shelter, also in San Diego.

“This action was designed to build momentum and really lead to immediate action,” County Supervisory Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher said Thursday. “There is a real immediate need on the streets right now. I strongly believe that safer parking, safer camping, and more shelter are key to getting people off the streets and into permanent housing. And we need more and we need it fast.

The fundraising program was started in the hope that towns across the county would apply for money to create new housing programs. Fletcher said in September the response was disappointing because only three cities applied, leaving about $5 million on the table. Oceanside received $3.3 million to help fund a 50-bed shelter, Vista received $65,000 for secure parking, and San Diego received $1 million for secure parking.

Of the five projects funded in the last round, four were for existing or planned shelters. Fletcher said the effort was still a success because the funds would pay for significant raises that are needed across the county.

“From North County to South County, you can see progress being made,” he said.

Catholic Charities CEO Appaswamy “Vino” Pajanor agreed the funding will have a significant impact on the Carlsbad shelter, which will expand its services and add up to 50 beds to La Posada de Guadalupe, which now has 100.

“We have been considering expanding La Posada for a few years,” he said. “When the county opportunity came up, the city said, ‘You’ve been talking about this for a long time. It’s a good idea.'”

The shelter began as a cluster of buildings to provide housing for farmworkers in 1992, and in 2013 Catholic Charities opened La Posada de Guadalupe as permanent buildings with 50 beds for farmworkers and 50 for homeless men. adults.

Pajanor said the money will fund a feasibility study on a planned second floor that will provide beds for women and mothers with young children. The money will help fundraising efforts for the project, which will also convert the emergency shelter into a navigation center with resources to help homeless people become self-sufficient and find housing, he said. declared.

In Chula Vista, the city plans to open a shelter consisting of 66 pallet houses, also called sleeping cabins, next month.

Angelica Davis, the city’s homeless solutions manager, said the county’s $1.8 million will pay for cost overruns and for a planned second phase of the project.

“We would like to maybe double it or maybe even not do pallet housing but permanent supervised housing,” she said. “Sky is the limit.”

In the city of San Diego, the county’s $393,000 grant will fund improvements to a 34-room seniors’ shelter at a Pacific Highway hotel that the city began leasing in September. Mayor Todd Gloria’s director of communications, Dave Rolland, said the upgrades will include new floors in all rooms, new laundry rooms, new washers and dryers, and paint for all units and offices.

An additional $350,000 will fund a planned 42-room non-congregate shelter that will serve up to 200 families per year. The location of the project has not been announced, but it is expected early next year, he said.

In Escondido, a $736,000 grant will fund the Interfaith Community Services plan to convert the Hawthorne Veteran and Family Resource Center into a family shelter. CEO of Interfath Greg Anglea said the money will add more beds to the 32-bed facility and fund capital improvements.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing a significant increase in the number of families who have lost their homes,” he said.

County funds will pay to reconfigure small rooms to accommodate larger families, expand the kitchen, add a playground and an outdoor recreation area.

Anglea said with government funding for the shelters dwindling, Interfaith expects to lose $800,000 of its $26 million budget.

“We need that kind of support to do that kind of work,” he said of the county grant.

California Daily Newspapers

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