New homeless shelter set to open in downtown - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

New homeless shelter set to open in downtown

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© Photo credit: Connections Housing, Downtown San Diego Facebook page. © Photo credit: Connections Housing, Downtown San Diego Facebook page.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Following months of delays, a 223-bed shelter for homeless people is scheduled for a grand opening in downtown San Diego Monday.

Connections Housing, placed inside the 86-year-old World Trade Center building, was originally set to open last fall -- and city of San Diego officials had hoped it would eliminate the need for its annual cold weather shelter.

Finding a site for a temporary facility over the winter months regularly generated heated neighborhood opposition.

However, problems that arose during renovations of the aging building created delays, pushing the grand opening until Monday, according to officials involved with the project.

The city, meanwhile, opened its winter shelter at 16th Street and Newton Avenue in Barrio Logan.

Some residents moved into Connections Housing, at 1250 Sixth Ave., last month.

The concept of Connections Housing is to put both the homeless and social services at the same location. The 14-story facility will offer studio apartments for 73 residents and transitional beds for another 150 people.

"Connections Housing is not only a bed to sleep in, but also the counseling and education people need to change the direction of their lives," said James Silverwood, president and CEO of Affirmed Housing, one of the partners in the project.

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