Last month on September 15, the San Diego City Council rejected two sites — an East Village warehouse and a parking lot in Balboa Park — for the annual temporary winter shelter, voting 5-2 (one councilmember was absent).
It was a short-lived victory for the East Village because on October 13, the city council approved the same location they did a year ago: a privately owned East Village site on Island and 15th Avenue.
In case problems arise with the first location, the alternate site is planned to be on 13th and F Street, also in the East Village. Prior to the Tuesday, October 13, city council meeting, several East Village community members were encouraged by the East Village Association to voice their concerns regarding the placement of the shelter for the third consecutive year in their neighborhood.
“Last year we were promised it would not be located in East Village again. We simply will not allow you to renege on that promise,” said East Village association president David Hazan in a letter addressed to the city council.
The association forwarded the same letter to everyone on their mailing list, which includes East Village residents, business owners, and homeowners. In the letter, Hazan suggested: “Rather than finding a location for The Shelter, The East Village Association strongly supports the hotel/motel voucher program presented by Councilman Young. We believe this program would effectively provide shelter without the significant impacts that The Shelter has on a neighborhood.”
Despite the association’s efforts, the city council voted 6-2 to bring the site back to the East Village. The council also voted to allocate $718,000 for the shelter program.