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Calls for expansion mount as homeless storage bin facilities reach capacity

Sherman Heights location has 200 person wait list
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Posted at 8:22 AM, Jan 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-04 11:22:56-05

SHERMAN HEIGHTS, Calif. (KGTV) - A storage facility for homeless people to keep their belongings is at capacity, leading some people to call for expansion.

The facility is in Sherman Heights, near 20th Street and Commercial. It opened in June of 2018 with room for 500 bins.

It was full by Halloween.

Now there is a 200 person waiting list.

The city initially wanted to put 1000 storage bins in the warehouse, but pushback from neighbors led to a compromise of just 500.

Neighbors worried that the facility would be a magnet for homeless people, drawing them to the area.

Six months later, people who spoke to 10News say the opposite has happened. They still see homeless people in the area, but not any more than before the facility opened.

They also say the amount of clutter on the streets and sidewalks has decreased dramatically.

Crime has also gone down in the area. According to the crimemapping.com website, there were 188 crimes reported within 1500 feet of the facility in August of 2018. In December, that number had dropped to 73 (see chart above).

Part of that is from extra police patrol. A recent police department report says that SDPD is spending nearly $2 million on overtime to add patrols in the neighborhood of the facility.

City officials told the San Diego Union Tribune they have no plans to expand the facility. But at a meeting last month at the University of San Diego, several homeless advocated said it's an idea worth looking into.