Planners updated on possible year-round shelter for veterans
by Dave Schwab
Jun 26, 2013 | 2051 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
North Bay Community Planning Group (NBCPG), whose boundaries encompass the Midway/Pacific Highway Corridor, heard from veterans’ representatives about possible year-round homeless shelters and about regional bike improvements during its June 19 monthly meeting.

Phil Landis and Andre Simpson of Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD), located at 4141 Pacific Highway, talked about recent developments with homelessness.

“The mayor has proposed that the adult singles shelter in downtown and the veterans’ shelter in Sports Arena transition to year-round,” said Simpson, VVSD’s executive vice president, noting both facilities had previously only been open from December until April.

One planner asked how many beds are in the current veterans’ seasonal shelter and what percentage is occupied.

“There are 150 beds and, on average, they are 92 percent occupied,” said Simpson.

Asked if the seasonal shelter was merely a place to warehouse the homeless, Landis, VVSD’s president/CEO replied, “We’re getting them out of river beds and into warm beds, allowing them to access services that will transform them into long-term residential programs. VVSD is not about warehousing folks. It’s about providing them services to make a change in their lives, getting them back into the community and being a productive citizen.”

Simpson and Landis promised to keep the NBCPG apprised of future developments with the homeless shelters and potential impacts.

Beth Robrahn, a planner with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the region’s transportation planning agency, gave a slideshow presentation detailing the Uptown Regional Bike Corridor Project, proposed bicycle improvements in areas, like Old Town, adjoining the NBCPG area.

When asked by planners whether the group had been left out of the planning loop with bicycle improvements because they are not proposed directly inside the NBCPG’s boundaries, Robrahn replied that she was there to solicit their input on the bike corridor plan, which is still in its planning stages.

Group chairwoman Melanie Nickel urged the public to attend the group’s next meeting at 3 p.m. on July 17 at San Diego Community College’s West City Campus at 3249 Fordham St., Room 208.

“Next month we will get an update on our community plan, which has been in the hands of the consultant for the better part of a year,” Nickel said.

“It’s possible it will give us our first look at what the consultant is proposing,” she said.
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