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Retrofitted bright green cargo shipping containers feature 304 lockers that are now being used at the City of San Diego’s (City) Homeless Transitional Storage Center (TSC), increasing the number of homeless San Diegans who can keep their belongings secure and off of City streets and sidewalks. Watch Video.
Homeless San Diegans can use the lockers, located at a parking lot owned by the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC), to store their belongings as they go on job interviews or attend medical appointments.
Unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the new lockers, in combination with the remaining on-site storage bins, will enable the TSC to serve more than 400 homeless individuals. The bins that were previously in use provided space for 353 homeless individuals to safeguard their belongings.
“Stop to think about it,” SDHC Board of Commissioners Chairman Gary Gramling said. “How successful would you be in a job interview if you pulled up to the front of the building pushing a grocery cart full of your possessions?”
The Girls Think Tank (GTT) is the nonprofit organization that operates the City’s facility. Currently, TSC has a waiting list, which varies from 120 to 170 individuals. A second phase will add 494 lockers.
“The TSC’s new lockers provide more security and shelter from the elements, and they also create more space for the TSC to expand and serve more of our homeless in the community,” said GTT Executive Director Heather Pollock.
SDHC administers the $138,750 in funding from the City’s General Fund that GTT receives to operate the facility, located at 252 16th St. in the East Village
neighborhood of Downtown San Diego, where the TSC has been since May 3, 2014.
The original TSC opened its doors in February 2011 as a result of a legal settlement that required the City to provide a check-in center for Downtown homeless San Diegans to safely store their belongings.
The settlement resolved a Federal class action lawsuit that alleged the City violated the constitutional rights of homeless individuals by destroying personal property they left on public streets.
The initial operation of the TSC was funded by $100,000 from the settlement.
GTT has managed operations of the TSC since May 1, 2012. The locker helps clear the streets and downtown San Diego of more than 30,000 pounds of belongings.
GTT pays $1 a month in rent under a lease agreement with SDHC. The agreement requires GTT to use the difference between the rent and the $1,800 per month market value of the lease ($1,799 per month) for program funds to operate the TSC to ensure that costs, such as utilities and insurance, are paid.
In addition, SDHC required as conditions of the lease:
1122 Broadway, Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101
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