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Mayor Gloria, Chair Fletcher Launch Shelter for Homeless Residents with Behavioral Health Needs



Continuing their collaborative partnership to meet the broad needs of San Diego residents experiencing homelessness, Mayor Todd Gloria and County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher today announced the opening of the new Community Harm Reduction Team (C-HRT) facility for unsheltered residents who struggle with substance abuse and often co-occurring mental illness.

The new shelter is ready to begin accepting residents as early as Wednesday afternoon.

“San Diegans can see it across our city – many of our unsheltered neighbors are very sick and in need of specialized help. It is a serious crisis,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “Our existing shelters aren’t appropriate for everyone. This new shelter represents our latest step in our homelessness-response efforts and will create an entry point for people who we have had difficulty connecting to safe shelter and the more intensive supportive services they require.”

The C-HRT is a joint effort between the County of San Diego’s Department of Behavioral Health Services and the City of San Diego to provide outreach to eligible clients and connect them with shelter, case management, permanent housing, behavioral-health services and medical care.

The facility, located in a former Pier 1 Imports building in the Midway community, is owned by the City of San Diego and will be operated by Alpha Project through a contract with the San Diego Housing Commission. The outreach and case management will be handled by Family Health Centers of San Diego through a contract with the County of San Diego.

“Community Harm Reduction Teams and the interim shelter is a new approach between the County and City to get people off the street and provide the support they need in their fight against addiction,” said Chair Fletcher. “This new effort offers a great opportunity for homeless San Diegans to get on a path of wellness, stability and permanent housing.”   

Family Health Centers of San Diego will provide substance use counselors, peer support, mental health clinicians and nurse practitioners for medical consultation. Upon initial engagement by outreach workers, clients are welcomed to the new shelter with day-to-day operations provided by Alpha Project, offering 24-hour staffing to support 44 beds.

Alpha Project will maintain community engagement and good-neighbor practices for the area surrounding the shelter site, including maintaining a clean and safe environment and discouraging loitering in the vicinity of the shelter.

The C-HRT Shelter is the result of heightened collaboration between the City and County of San Diego during the past year. The City and County are currently working to expand the C-HRT program to include additional sites – called C-HRT Safe Havens – that can provide care for clients with a more serious level of behavioral-health challenges.