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Inclement weather shelter beds activated for San Diego's homeless

Posted at 7:11 AM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 10:11:26-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – San Diego saw another round of cold weather sweep through the area, and it prompted the activation of the Inclement Weather Shelter Program at Father Joe’s Villages and the San Diego Rescue Mission.

The program allowed for up to 65 beds to be available for those without homes in the City of San Diego. Father Joe's would be providing 55 beds and the Rescue Mission would be able to provide 10 beds for the inclement weather.

San Diego Rescue Mission Vice President of Programs Paul Armstrong said that these inclement weather beds are vital for those who may not have a place to sleep inside during this weather.

“It’s lifesaving, right? It’s critical that we do this. Because we know the impact of this type of cold weather. It really can cause significant health issues,” Armstrong said.

But there’s also the issue of only a number of beds to go around during frigid nights and with shelter bed capacity in general.

“This is part of the reason why we have to look at our shelter capacity so, that we can have surge capacity of even larger sizes," Armstrong said.

The City of San Diego’s Director of Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Hafsa Kaka said this point of shelter bed capacity was made by Mayor Todd Gloria in his state of the city speech.

She said they’re looking and working with all partners to find more beds.

“One thing you may have heard is the sprung structure in terms of the county and city collaborations. So, we are moving projects along so that we are able to help the unhoused folks,” Kaka said. “And we’re really looking forward to this next Point In Time Count.”

Kaka said that count is to give a global view of how the homeless situation looks in San Diego.

That can help figure out needs for this community, including shelter bed capacity.

“I know that throughout the region they’re constantly evaluating those needs. Ourselves, as the Rescue Mission, we’re looking at expanding both in Oceanside and National City to have more beds,” Armstrong said. “So I think it’s an ongoing conversation and the Point In Time Count tomorrow is an important part of it.”

It’s not just the city activating these inclement weather shelters.

San Diego County officials told ABC 10News that it’s activating shelters in northeastern and inland parts of the county.