Sherman Heights residents push back on proposed homeless storage facility

Posted at 11:19 PM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-24 02:19:36-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Close to 100 people packed the Sherman Heights community center Friday night.

Just about all of them were there to tell city officials to back off their plan to set up a homeless storage facility at Commercial and 20th Streets.

The city says the plan is not finalized, but they are in negotiations with leasing the building. 

“We have a playground is about 15 feet from this building,” said Noel Bishop, the principal at Our Lady’s School. “The reality is it’s just an open invitation for people to come back to this community and start living on the streets again… having people in our neighborhood that might be drug users, not mentally stable.”

Jonathan Herrera, senior advisor for homelessness for the city of San Diego, says the site is expected to similar to the one on 16th street. It will be a place for the homeless to store their belongings while they visit clinics, classes or go to job interviews.

The city is promising to be a good neighbor, stressing the site will have security 24/7.  There will be loitering, drugs or alcohol allowed, and they will have regular waste pick-ups within a block radius.

“We are currently looking at other facilities in beach communities, uptown, mid-city and southeastern San Diego to see if we can provide additional services in those areas as well,” Herrera said. 

He said there were a lot of concerns raised that they are taking into consideration, but the city plans to move forward in the process and bring the plan to the San Diego Housing Commission on March 9th.

“The mayor highlighted that the time to develop universal consensus is over and that effort to develop consensus has caused us action, and that’s no longer tolerable,” Herrera added.