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San Diego's homeless community struggles to find shelter from storms

Homeless advocates said more congregate shelters, hotel vouchers needed to get people off streets.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego saw another day of heavy rain Monday. As the winter storms keep rolling through, people living on the streets are being put in a tough situation.

"This has been complete despair," said homeless advocate Amie Zamudio.

She said most shelters are full so people are left with few options.

"We are gravely failing to respond to this crisis the way we need to," she said.

People couldn't seek help at the Homelessness Response Center Monday because it was closed for Martin Luther King Day. Zamudio is doing what she can to keep people out of the rain.

"Just in the past three days alone, I've gotten over 29 folks into hotel rooms who are very unique individuals experiencing homelessness," she said. 

Marcos De La Sierra is one of those people.

"Me and my wife, she's pregnant we were struggling out here freezing and overwhelmed," he said.

Despite having a fulltime job, they're experiencing homelessness for the first time.

"We keep checking in with the homeless outreach center, with the HOT team. Any police officers we see coming by we stop them. We ask 'hey, we are trying to get off these streets.' I'm a working San Diegan and trying to get the extra footing to get my home for my family and that's what I want," he said

A few days ago Zamudio was able to help and get him and his wife into a hotel. She hopes to get his family into a more stable housing situation before their baby is born.

"Blessed, blessed to have you. Thank you," De La Sierra said to Zamudio.

The city has four inclement weather shelters but those only provide shelter during the evening hours. Guests must leave in the morning.

WATCH RELATED: Winter storm causing major flooding and damage all across San Diego County (Jan. 2023).


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