Second Homeless Shelter Opens in the Midway District – Focus on Veterans

by on December 22, 2017 · 6 comments

in Ocean Beach

The Midway shelter will look similar to this one opened earlier in Barrio Logan. Screen capture from CBS8.

The second so-called “Temporary Bridge Shelter” opened Friday, December 22nd in the Midway district with the capacity to shelter up to 200 people. It’s located on the 2800 block of Sports Arena Blvd.

Operated by Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD), the shelter will provide a variety of supportive services that are found in the other two shelters. This shelter will also include access to services specific to veterans.

The facility will offer meals, showers, restrooms, 24-hour security, connections to alcohol and substance abuse counseling, job training and mental health services, and each resident will be assigned a case manager and housing navigator who will develop a plan to get them permanently housed.

The first Shelter, which opened Dec. 1, is located at 16th Street and Newton Avenue downtown; it serves single adults and is operated by Alpha Project. The third and final shelter – operated by Father Joe’s Villages in the East Village – will serve homeless families and is scheduled to open by Dec. 31.

In mid-November, the City Council approved a plan to spend $6.5 million on the industrial-sized tents to accommodate the homeless in Barrio Logan, the East Village and the Midway District. The vote was 8-1, with Councilman David Alvarez opposed, because he was against the location and process that sited the shelter in his district.

Veterans Village operated a similar tent shelter during the cold weather months until a couple of years ago, when the city discountinued that program to fund temporary shelters in order to fund more permanent solutions, but the area’s homeless population grew too rapidly, and overwhelmed the few facilities offered. The City was also forced to do something under the pressure of the outbreak of hepatitis A  – which killed 20 people and sickened hundreds. Most – two-thirds – were either homeless, users of illegal drugs or both. The outbreak and failure of local government to respond in a timely and sufficient manner became national and even international news.

Of course, a bevy of local politicians were on hand today at the official opening of the Midway shelter; Mayor Faulconer, Councilwoman Zapf and County Supervisor Ron Roberts were in attendance and made speeches.




{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Geoff Page December 27, 2017 at 3:18 pm

It’s always dangerous to be critical of anything that helps the “veterans” but so be it. I have three problems:

!. Why is one tent devoted to veterans to the exclusion of others?
2. If there are homeless veterans that need help, why the f@&k doens’t the military step up to the plate?
3. The definition of a veteran is ridiculous. I asked the head of the group the definition of a veteran. When asked how a “veteran” is defined, the answer was a bit surprising. Apparently, anyone who has a DD 214 form indicating discharge from active duty qualifies as a vet. This would include someone who only lasted a few days in the service or people who washed out in boot camp. I think this definition does a disservice to the term. So, with 200 beds, what if a guy who served tours of duty in Iraq came in right after a boot camp washout who got the last bed? The definition of a veteran should be better than just possession of a discharge form.


Chris January 3, 2018 at 5:51 am

Most veterans organizations DO require an honorable discharges which will be indicated on the DD214. If you fail bootcamp, there will be numerical code on the 214 indicating that and why. People like that will likely get turned away.


Geoff Page January 3, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Chris, I asked the guy who is managing the facility for Veteran’s Village and he did not say anything about turning away anyone with the DD214 form. Do you know for a fact that they will turn away people with the notation you mentioned?


Chris January 3, 2018 at 7:32 pm

To be honest I don’t know for a fact that VV does that (turn people away who don’t show an honorable discharge) so maybe they don’t. I was assuming they do because most other Veteran’s assistance organizations that I’m aware of do. I believe the annual Stand Down requires and honorable discharge. If VV doesn’t require that perhaps that’s a good thing in some ways. There are plenty of people who served honorably and heroically but made one bad mistake that pissed it all away and that can certainly lead to homelessness and in my opinion they still deserve help (depending on the circumstances of the “mistake”. In my own job I’ve dealt with people who were going through a medical evaluation for PTSD to determine if they would be able to remain in the service. If found unfit, they would have likely separated with a medical retirement which would come with all the full benefits of a normal retirement plus a pension. They get into one off duty drunken bar fight and wind up with an OTH (other than honorable) discharge. No VA benefits, not eligible for unemployment, no base access, will never be eligible for Federal employment, and a chain of command that wants to discard them like yesterdays trash. So with all that, I can see why VV might want to help them. Then again, the SGT Bales of the world deserve no help what so ever.


Rick January 26, 2018 at 7:52 pm

Oh no… Not those pesky homeless veterans again. Someone should do something about those people. It’s not like they volunteered to fight and die to preserve our freedom and the American Way of Life or anything… Oh, wait that’s exactly what they did. Never mind I must have been thinking of someone else. Must be my PTSD acting up again.


Geoff Page January 29, 2018 at 9:40 am

The vast majority of the people who sign up for the military are signing up for a job and education, they are not signing up top fight and die, and they hope they never will have to. And, the job of the military is to preserve American economic interests around the world, that is their main job, not preserving our freedom and the “American Way of Life.” If that was the case, they would have kicked the crap out of Saudi Arabia for the 9/11 attack, but that didn’t happen did it?


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