Logan Heights and Sherman Heights residents aren’t holding back their dismay now that they’re just a week away from sharing their neighborhood with a storage facility for the homeless.
Their frustrations were heard once again at a community meeting Thursday where representatives from the city and its mental health services department took questions and comments from more than 40 homeowners.
The controversial facility is set to open next Wednesday at 20th Street and Commercial. The building already has a fresh coat of paint, new doors and new security lighting.
Many neighborhood residents, and a nearby Catholic Church and school community have opposed it since its proposal, fearing the kind of people they say it might attract.
“My property value, I am concerned about that, and my own personal safety,” Sherman Heights resident Jessica Manzanares said. She lives two blocks from the storage facility. “My fiancé travels for work a lot. I am home by myself at night. Luckily, I have a dog but that is not going to protect me when he’s in the house and I walk out from my garage.”
The meeting covered many topics, from staffing and security to clean up and services. Many in attendance were not impressed with what they heard.
The city says 500 homeless people are permitted to store their things at the facility and must check in at least once every 90 days.
The storage facility will have two security guards and 10 staffers during operating hours, and one security guard after hours.
A San Diego Housing Commission representative says staffers are well trained at handling mental health problems associated with homelessness. She adds that while there are 500 storage bins, they are booking space by referrals only and at no time will there be 500 clients at once.
“I am not a police officer so I can’t give assurances on the security measures, but what I can say as part of the partnership that is working together on this, we are doing everything we can to be over-prepared,” she said.
The Housing Commission representative said they will manage their response and include additional staffing as needed. Also, outreach workers from the bridge shelters will provide an additional presence in the area.
The next community meeting is tentatively scheduled for July 11th.
Photo Credit: NBC 7
Source: NBC San Diego