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San Diego to close convention center shelter by end of March, move residents to city shelters

Posted at 12:32 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 15:33:36-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As San Diego prepares to wind down its shelter for the homeless at the convention center by the end of March, Mayor Todd Gloria said Friday that residents staying at the shelter will be relocated to the city's shelters.

The move-out of about 600 residents is scheduled to start the week of March 22. Those staying at the shelter who have not already moved to permanent or longer-term housing will be brought to another shelter.

"Every San Diegan should take pride in what Operation Shelter to Home accomplished in keeping our homeless neighbors safe, but also ending the cycle of homelessness for hundreds during this pandemic," said Gloria. "What this experience has demonstrated is that we can come together to address people’s homelessness. We can create the ecosystem of services and service providers that addresses the needs of the individual. This will now guide our efforts as we move toward ending chronic homelessness."

Some shelter residents will be moved to open beds at the Father Joe’s Villages Paul Mirabile Center and PATH Connections interim shelter, as well as the Bishop Women’s Shelter and Golden Hall.

The city says it has worked with county leaders, the San Diego Housing Commission, and homeless services providers to reconfigure shelters to serve the maximum amount of people possible while adhering to COVID-19 guidelines.

"Our residential, outreach and medical teams at the Convention Center are prepared to help clients move from the Convention Center and into other shelter or permanent homes of their own. We look forward to continuing to make a difference through our comprehensive services at the bridge shelter in Golden Hall and the Paul Mirabile and Bishop Maher Interim Shelters," said Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe's Village.

The convention center's Operation Shelter to Home has helped nearly 1,300 people and 43 families find permanent or longer-term housing, and served more than 4,000 people since it began last April.