San Diego business leaders want giant tents to house the homeless

San Diego's homeless population soars
Posted at 10:28 PM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-21 01:28:35-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)--Local business leaders want to erect two giant industrial tents to house some of San Diego’s exploding homeless population.  They said they have the money to pay for the tents.  They need a place to put them.

“I think we’re in crisis mode,” said Peter Seidler, managing partner for the San Diego Padres and one of the people behind the plan.

Seidler teamed with fellow businessman Dan Shea to formulate the plan to purchase industrial tents that cost roughly $800,000 each and can hold upwards of 250 people.  The money was collected from anonymous donors.

Seidler said he and Shea have had numerous local politicians to garner support for their plan. He realizes location could be the biggest issue and the tents aren’t a full-fledged solution.  He said it was a bridge in the right direction for the 9,200 homeless people in San Diego County.

“To take a step forward that is 80% or 90% clearly good and 10% or 20% debatable is a productive step forward,” said Seidler.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office issued this statement to 10News:

"We appreciate and welcome the financial commitment of businessmen Peter Seidler and Dan Shea. A homeless facility needs land as well as funding. There is no perfect spot for homeless services and the City does not own any property that doesn't come with serious challenges, whether they be logistical or financial.”

Councilman David Alvarez said, “There are several locations downtown to place a shelter.  Some do not even require a tent -- for example, a vacant building like the former site of the downtown library or the Golden Hall location.”

Seidler said those two locations would cost hundreds of thousand dollars more than the tents to get them ready for a homeless shelter.  He added multiple council districts can shoulder the homeless population with tents within their districts.

Councilman Chris Cate echoed that: “Given the severity of this issue, all districts within the City, including District 6, should be considered and explored as those in need are in each of our neighborhoods.”

Seidler said they were ready now to pay for at least two tents.