The new Midway District Bridge Shelter that will serve up-to 150 San Diegans experiencing homelessness is now being constructed on a County of San Diego property in the City of San Diego’s Midway District. The Lucky Duck Foundation is donating the use of their bridge shelter, and early this morning, the construction crew was joined by elected leaders, service providers and community members to assemble the shelter’s first arches and lift them into place. The construction of the shelter will take about four weeks to complete, and it is expected to be operational in July.
The Midway District Bridge Shelter will be different from existing bridge shelters because it will offer on-site behavioral health services It will operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week. During their stay, guests will be offered services such as meals, showers, restrooms, laundry, storage for their belongings, mental health and addiction treatment, communicable disease screenings, medical care, housing navigation, and connections to self-sufficiency benefits like CalWORKS, CalFresh and Medi-Cal.
Mayor Todd Gloria and Chair Nathan Fletcher have established a strong partnership, brought their respective City-County teams together and worked with the community and willing partners like the Lucky Duck Foundation to create unprecedented collaborations, the latest being this shelter.
“We have recently taken several actions at the County to help cities address homelessness, from behavioral health services and standard agreements to funding new shelters, but this partnership is unprecedented because we are placing a shelter on County-owned land,” said Chair Fletcher. “The Lucky Duck Foundation and the City of San Diego are great partners and this new collaboration will help more individuals experiencing homelessness in the Midway community leave the encampments and get into a stable environment.”
"The City of San Diego’s homeless shelters are regularly and consistently at more than 90 percent occupancy. This new shelter in the Midway community -- the result of unprecedented collaboration and problem-solving between the City and the County, along with organizations like the Lucky Duck Foundation -- will help us get even more people safely off the street,” said Mayor Gloria. “Shelter is an immediate solution to get folks connected to support services and on a pathway to permanent or long-term housing. This facility will get hundreds more San Diegans on that path."
Drew Moser, Executive Director of the Lucky Duck Foundation said, “Our region urgently needs more readily available beds to provide immediate pathways off the streets for those suffering from homelessness. Bridge shelters accomplish exactly that. We are pleased to partner with the City and County of San Diego to make this possible, and importantly, we are poised and committed to doing more.”
A commitment to connecting early and often with the nearby community has yielded positive feedback from the leadership of the local planning group.
“This morning’s event represents a positive step in our collaborative regional approach to addressing the homelessness crisis in San Diego. I would like to thank Chair Fletcher, Mayor Gloria, Supervisor Lawson Remer and my own City Council representative Dr Jen Campbell for their partnership with the Midway-Pacific Highway Community in this effort,” said Diike Anyiwo, President of the Midway-Pacific Highway Planning Group. “This low-barrier shelter will provide much-needed capacity to help our neighbors across the Sports Arena and wider Midway area transition off the streets and receive the support they need. Special thanks to the Lucky Duck Foundation for their leadership in serving our most vulnerable neighbors and community members.”
The shelter, located in City Council District 2 and County Supervisor District 3, is expected to primarily house persons experiencing homelessness in the City of San Diego from nearby areas. However, all populations are mobile and all guests will be offered the same services, regardless of their last place of residency.
“This shelter will help turn Midway from a place of suffering into a place of healing, where people unhoused on our streets can get the help they need,” said Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, who represents the community.
"The Midway District has been inundated by the homelessness crisis - one unsafe encampment after another. By locating this shelter in a community hit hard by the homelessness crisis, the City and County are delivering urgent progress where it is needed most,” said Councilmember Dr. Jennifer Campbell. “As a doctor, I know this is how to really get at the root causes of homelessness - safe shelter, mental health services, and everyone from the City to the County to non-profits - pitching in together to make a difference."
The San Diego Housing Commission/City of San Diego has hired Alpha Project to operate the shelter and there will be established working hours, including an overnight schedule with opportunities to enter or exit that support quiet/evening hours and a safe and stable environment for shelter residents and the neighboring community.
The new shelter is being set-up next-to the County’s Psychiatric Hospital, which is County-owned land located at 3851 Rosecrans St. in the City of San Diego. To prepare the site, the County performed advanced infrastructure work including removing and replacing lighting, new exterior site lighting, asphalt repairs, trenching for a new sewer connection, potable water connections, power connections for the structure, mobile trailers for laundry and shower and administrative offices.
The Lucky Duck Foundation is contributing the use of its bridge shelter and is covering the cost to construct it on-site.