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San Diego Not Even Close to Meeting Permanent Housing Goals for Homeless

The city’s new $6.5 million "bridge shelters" are providing a place to stay, but not accomplishing what they set out to do.
June 28, 2018, 1pm PDT | Katharine Jose
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San Diego, California
Simone Hogan

In the aftermath of the Hepatitis A outbreak last year, San Diego established three "bridge shelters," which originally were supposed to be a place for people who already had been given a housing subsidy but had not yet been matched with a permanent place to live.

But while hundreds of people have gone in, or gone in and come out and gone in again, only a fraction have been moved into homes or apartments.

"Critics," writes John Wilkins of the Union-Tribune, "say the poor performance is a reflection of a dysfunctional system that overemphasizes emergency shelters and hasn’t figured out how to align the community’s resources with the longer-term needs of the homeless."

San Diego has the fourth-largest homeless population in the nation, in part because it suffers from the same affordability crisis as other big cities in California (and elsewhere). Downtown San Diego doubled its number of housing units between 2010 and 2015, but saw rents double as well.

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Published on Sunday, June 17, 2018 in San Diego Union-Tribune
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