OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - A former alternative high school is set to be the home to Oceanside’s first year-round homeless shelter.
In April, video shot by a homeless advocate showed Oceanside Police moving toward an encampment along South Oceanside Boulevard. By the end of the day, it was mostly cleared out. The homeless were offered dozens of motel vouchers as part of a program approved by the Oceanside City Council, amid the mounting frustrations of local residents over the issue of homelessness.
City crews dumped rocks at the site to prevent another encampment. Less than a week later, two men were spotted tossing the rocks, but today, the rocks remain.
Meanwhile, the City Council is now tackling the issue in the form of the city's first-ever year-round shelter.
“The issue of homelessness doesn’t just impact the city or the homeless. It impacts a broad base of people. We’ve got to recognize we're all in this together, and we've got to do what we can to help them,” said City Councilmember Peter Weiss.
City leaders recently selected the San Diego Rescue Mission to operate a 50-bed shelter, expect to be at the three-and-a-half acre campus of the former Ocean Shores High School.
Weiss says the price tag to renovate it will be several million dollars, but the San Diego Rescue Mission will pay the operating costs. Donnie Dee heads the nonprofit. He says the shelter will offer a 30-day stay.
“During that 30 days, they’ll have to see a case manager. It’s the one requirement to stay in the facility, and it will be thorough that relationship with a case manager that we’ll begin to help them navigate they way out of homelessness,” said Dee.
Dee says his program will connect the homeless to resources ranging from substance abuse and mental health programs to job training.
The most recent count placed the number of homeless at nearly 500 in Oceanside. Weiss says the shelter could open in early 2022.