SAN DIEGO (KGTV)- When the pandemic hit city leaders opened the San Diego Convention Center doors to house those living on the streets. But as that time will soon come to an end, the San Diego Rescue Mission is working to give those in need a safe place to stay.
The transition during the pandemic was not easy.
“For people experiencing homelessness, the rates of COVID have been very low, but it was absolutely a struggle,” says Paul Armstrong with the San Diego Rescue Mission.
The City of San Diego recently announced its plan to close the convention center by December. The state has reserved funds to help the city buy at least one hotel to house the homeless. Unfortunately, the hotel’s 340 units won’t be enough space for everyone.
“As they ramp down their operations there, we have to be mindful to make sure we’re giving as many opportunities to the people in the convention center,” says Armstrong.
The San Diego Rescue Mission is stepping in to help. Team members visit the convention center a few times during the week to notify the people of their programs.
Their emergency shelter is available for women and children.
They also have a year-long “Mission Academy.” It’s a three-semester program. Semester one focuses on wellness. Semester two is center around education and training.
“Semester three is really preparing them, letting them focus on housing and building up,” says Armstrong. “Working and building up that savings so that they can transfer into a successful, sustainable life.”
The Rescue Mission says they have seen a large success rate from the students who have completed Mission Academy.