SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A permanent shelter for the homeless will not only help people in need, but improve the quality of life in downtown San Diego, the city councilman who represents the area said Thursday.
The "Connections Housing" development at the former site of the World Trade Center at 1250 Sixth Ave. will make a difference in the city's "acute homeless problem," Councilman Kevin Faulconer said at an event in which officials marked the construction of the building.
Work on the structure began about a month ago, with crews demolishing the insides of the existing structure, according to the developer. The 86-year-old concrete block structure has been vacant for several years and its white exterior paint is peeling.
After he described the homeless services that will be offered, Mayor Jerry Sanders took note of the building's condition.
"What's more, we're turning an underutilized, blighted building into one where the homeless can come and turn their lives around," Sanders said.
Officials with People Assisting The Homeless -- or PATH -- said they remain on track to open many of the new housing units by early November.
When finished, the facility will include 73 permanent housing units, 150 beds of interim housing, a health care clinic and a social services center. Many of the units have private bathrooms and some have kitchenettes.
The new shelter will eliminate the need for city officials to open a temporary cold-weather shelter every winter and sends a message that "we don't only care about the homeless in the winter, but 365 days a year," said Councilman Todd Gloria, who will represent downtown when new council districts take effect later this year.
Speakers also lauded the cooperation between social service organizations, private business and several layers of government agencies in getting the project under way.
A wave of emailed bomb threats targeting businesses, schools and other locations across the nation put law San Diego-area enforcement agencies on alert Thursday, though there were no immediate indications that any of the menacing messages were credible.
California regulators are considering a plan to charge a fee for text messaging on mobile phones to help support programs that make phone service accessible to the poor, according to a newspaper report Wednesday.
Closing arguments are scheduled Thursday for a former Yuma police officer accused of raping a Kensington woman last year during a visit to her family home.
A Cal State Long Beach student claims a final exam question crossed the line into racism, CBS Los Angeles reports.
San Diegans are invited to a holiday posada this Friday. Those celebrating enjoy food, singing, and other festivities.
San Diego is one of several cities around the nation that will get a new Apple campus in the next three years, the company announced Thursday.
U.S. authorities arrested 32 people at a demonstration Monday that was organized by a Quaker group on the border with Mexico, authorities said.
Representatives from San Diego County and Poseidon Water held a celebration on Thursday for the Claude "Bud" Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant producing its 40 billionth gallon of drinking water.
A California judge who was recalled after sentencing a former Stanford student to six months in jail for sexually assaulting a young woman is asking people to donate money so he can pay court-ordered attorney's fees to the backers of the recall.