As the city tries to pursue a pilot safe campground for homeless seniors, it now appears most focused on a vacant parking lot at 4th Avenue and Beech Street in Cortez Hill. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler
The San Diego Housing Commission is back to the drawing board on its hopes for a safe campground for unsheltered seniors after focusing in recent weeks on a vacant parking lot at 4th Avenue and Beech Street in Cortez Hill. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

A hoped-for plan to kick off a pilot safe campground for unhoused seniors this month is off.

The Housing Commission had hoped to proceed this month with a plan that downtown advocates have rallied behind to allow 40 unsheltered San Diegans to set up camp in a downtown parking lot backed with services and amenities. 

But our Lisa Halverstadt reveals that those plans fell apart last week when nonprofit Alpha Project exited contract negotiations with the Housing Commission, leaving the city without a provider to oversee the project.

Housing Commission Chairman Mitch Mitchell said the city agency remains committed to the concept some have deemed safe villages and now expects to seek out both larger sites and service providers. He also said he and the agency are committed to try to move quickly to deliver more options for unhoused residents at a time when homelessness is surging.

ICYMI, there is one new homeless service project expected to move forward this month. Halverstadt appeared on KPBS Midday Edition last week to discuss the city’s plan to begin temporarily sheltering up to 26 unhoused residents in its old Central Library later this month.

Read the story here. 

Politics Report: Some Things the Mayor Might Say 

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria will give his third State of the City speech Wednesday and it will be the first one as the official mayor in front of a crowd. 

The Politics Report breaks down some things we can expect the mayor to say. Read the weekly newsletter here. It’s available to Voice of San Diego members only. Support our work here

On a related note… This week on the VOSD Podcast, hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña look back at State of the City addresses past. Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Also … The latest monthly homeless census by the Downtown San Diego Partnership, a downtown business group that has been the foremost champion of the safe village concept, documented a record 1,839 unsheltered residents staying downtown and in its outskirts. The group also tallied a record 671 tents during its Dec. 29 count.

In Other News 

The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. 

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