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Hundreds find permanent housing in apartments converted from hotel rooms

Residence Inn
Posted at 6:11 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 21:23:51-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - It’s been nearly two months since the city began moving people into two new permanent supportive housing locations.

The city bought and transformed two Residence Inns, one in Mission Valley and one in Kearney Mesa, into apartments for homeless individuals.

According to the San Diego Housing Commission, out of the 332 available units at the two properties, 265 are occupied. So far, 290 individuals have moved in.

Many moved from the Convention Center, which the city has turned into a shelter during the pandemic. One of those individuals was Anita Wiggins, who moved into the Mission Valley site with her dog in December.

“There are no words to describe it. I’m happy. I’m excited,” Wiggins said. “I’ve been on every park and every beach and sleeping on the streets.”

Residents, like Wiggins, have a support system and services in place to help adjust to life from from the streets and lead them away from any paths that could return them to homelessness.

PATH provides services at the Mission Valley site.

According to Hanan Scrapper, the regional director at PATH, they have a team of 14 people on-site to provide services like peer support, peer support, and even making sure basic needs are met when people first move in.

The city purchased the two hotels with the help of funding from the state’s Project Homekey. Lisa Jones, the Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the San Diego Commission, says if more funding becomes available through the state, they want to be ready.

“One of the things that happened with the last round of Homekey is that we started looking at acquisitions as far back as April of last year,” Jones said. “so when that Homekey funding came in were of the first applicants in the cycle.”

Jones said they were looking at two sites “very closely” but couldn’t specify any locations.