Sherman Heights residence identify problems from homeless storage facility

Posted at 11:33 PM, Jul 13, 2018

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - People living near the new Transitional Storage Facility in Sherman Heights have mixed experiences about the facility's impact to their neighborhood. 
Joe Chmelik who leaves a block from the facility, says he's seen more beer bottles and trash in his neighborhood in the past month. 
"We’ve had people sleeping on our street," Chmelik said. He admits homeless issues aren't new to his street, but since the storage facility opened on June 13, he says the problems have gotten worse.  

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Chmelik also added, however, he's noticed more patrols and the city was responsive in cleaning up the trash when he reported it on the Get It Done App.  
Michele Navarro, who lives two doors from the homeless facility has had a different experience.   
"Has it been perfect? No," she said. "Has it been better than what we expected? Yes" 
She says security from the facility, and police patrols, have kept the immediate area near the facility clean and free from most vagrants.  
However, she says there have been some issues. A homeless woman entered her property and made it up to her front porch on the Fourth of July when the facility was closed. The woman was confused, looking for help. One day, she also saw a line of about five homeless people form waiting for the storage facility to open.  She says the city said cueing would not be allowed.
So far, city officials say there are about 130 bins being used out of 500.

For the first 90 days, clients are by referral only.  Neighbors worry what happens after that.  
Earlier in the week, the city council began looking for future storage facility sites.  There were ten addresses suggested in an informal presentation. 
Navarro says the best thing those neighborhoods can do is get involved early.  She believes there would be more problems if the community did not organize immediately. 
"Nobody wants this in their neighborhood," she said. "But given a chance, it can be a good thing. You have to be an active participant in your community. Get super involved early."