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This post originally appeared in the Jan. 27 Morning Report. Get the daily newsletter in your inbox today. Subscribe here.
The city’s long-vacant old Central Library is now sheltering unhoused women.
Mayor Todd Gloria and others announced Thursday that the old downtown library will shelter up to 36 homeless women each night for the next six months. This week’s opening comes about a month after a Superior Court ruling cleared a century-old deed restriction that had haunted plans to redevelop the facility.
Advocates for years urged the city to shelter unhoused residents in the shuttered library. It has been vacant since 2013 and surrounded by homeless camps for years.
In 2021, Gloria had city officials assess several city buildings including the old library to see if they could serve as shelters and in September, the city began preparing for the facility.
Gloria’s office has said the city spent about $74,000 to prepare the old library, which still boasts a sign near the entrance directing patrons to fiction books. Among the city’s expenses was a generator that a spokeswoman said the city had to rent due to vandalism that left the facility without power.
The shelter operated by NAMI San Diego will be closed during the day, but the nonprofit is providing transportation to its nearby clubhouse where people can access food, showers, case management and healthcare during the day.
Gloria’s office said Thursday that the city’s long-term plan is to provide affordable housing at the old library site. The mayor said the city will spend the next several months exploring options.
I remember when this library opened to the public. A three story building with a basement and there will only be 36 beds? Come on man.
Exactly. Bare minimum is being done. Meanwhile, LA has housed 247 in one day. Shows if you want to do it, you can.
Truly a testament to the failures of Todd Gloria and other lifer politicians who only care about winning the next election.
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