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Mayor Gloria opens new homeless shelter for women in downtown San Diego

It's called Rachel's Promise, the downtown shelter will serve up to 40 women with medical needs.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — As part of his consistent and continued efforts to create more shelter beds to get people experiencing homelessness off the streets, Mayor Todd Gloria on Thursday announced the opening of the city's newest shelter. 

It's called Rachel's Promise, the downtown shelter will serve up to 40 women with medical needs.

Rachel's Promise is a collaborative effort between the City's Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department and the San Diego Housing Commission. It is operated under contract with the Housing Commission by the Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego. 

"Rachel’s Promise is our latest effort to bring online more shelter beds to get more people experiencing homelessness off the streets and into care. This is part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce homelessness, which is built around increasing street outreach, providing diverse shelter options, creating new pathways to behavioral health care and building affordable housing," said Mayor Todd Gloria. "This work requires all hands on deck, and I’m grateful that Catholic Charities has partnered with us in our effort to move vulnerable folks off the streets and put them on a path to housing and a better future."

One of the shelter’s first residents spoke with CBS 8 after losing her home, she said she used to sleep on the ground in Balboa Park and she wants other women to know there are ways to get off the streets.

“There are so many women out there and I just feel so much for them and I’ve even told them to go see what Rachel’s about, but some ladies like to stay on the streets for some odd reason and it's really sad,” said Karen Sing.

On Thursday, the Mayor was joined by Cardinal-designate Robert W. McElroy of the Catholic Diocese, along with City Councilmembers Stephen Whitburn and Dr. Jennifer Campbell.

This new shelter builds on Mayor Gloria's expansion of shelter capacity in San Diego by 25% since taking office. New shelters opened during this time include the 44-bed C-HRT Harm Reduction Shelter in Midway for people struggling with substance-abuse and other behavioral health challenges and the Palm Avenue Interim Shelter in the South Bay, which prioritizes seniors with access to housing resources.

The new shelter aligns with the City’s Community Action Plan on Homelessness, which aims to create a more comprehensive system to reduce homelessness over 10 years. The plan calls out the need to add more than 500 crisis-response options like new shelter beds, transitional housing facilities and diversion programs.

Residents will begin to move in early next week.

WATCH RELATED: San Diego hospital under fire for discharging elderly homeless patients (July 19, 2022)

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