SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The second of three large tent shelters for San Diego's homeless went into operation Friday in the Midway District.
What the mayor's office calls a "temporary bridge shelter" is designed to house up to 200 veterans a day and will be operated by Veterans Village of San Diego. The organization ran a similar tent shelter during the cold weather months until a couple of years ago.
The cold weather program was ended in favor of more permanent solutions, but the area's homeless population grew rapidly.
City officials were pressured to act by an outbreak of hepatitis A that killed 20 people and sickened hundreds -- about two-thirds of whom were either homeless, users of illegal drugs or both. The rate of new infections has slowed in recent weeks.
The first tent shelter, for single adults, opened Dec. 1 at 16th Street and Newton Avenue in Barrio Logan and is run by the nonprofit Alpha Project.
The other will be located in the East Village and be operated by Father Joe's Villages. Designed for families, city officials hope to have it open by the end of the month.
The facilities offer meals, showers, restrooms, 24-hour security, connections to alcohol and substance abuse counseling, job training and mental health services, according to the city.
Each resident will be assigned a case manager and housing navigator who will develop a plan to get them permanently housed.