I am pleased to announce that the City of Chula Vista opened Chula Vista Village at Otay, the first bridge shelter for the homeless in South County. The facility will be a transitional shelter that will provide a pathway out of homelessness for those living on the streets of our City. The new bridge shelter is located off of Main Street, on 27th and Faivre Streets. The 65 individual tiny home units will first serve as transitional housing first for single people. In the future, the residential opportunities will expand to couples and families.
The Village at Otay community is now open for residential services. The City has partnered with City Net, a highly-regarded non-profit organization that provides services for the homeless. The community will have 24-hour security to protect the residents and the surrounding community. The shelter will include restrooms, showers, a laundry facility, and two multi-purpose rooms. Each resident will be fully vetted prior to being admitted to the Bridge Shelter. Meals, healthcare, and employment counseling will be provided to the occupants.
A Team Effort
Creating the first bridge shelter of its kind in San Diego County has been a fruitful collaboration of team members from our City Departments and non-profit agencies. The City’s Housing and Homeless Department, Homeless Outreach Team (HOT), Chula Vista Police Department, Park Rangers, the City Manager and her office, IKEA, our multiple non-profit partners and the County of San Diego. Each one of these groups played an integral part in helping make this shelter a reality.
A Cost Effective Approach
To reduce the financial burden on the City, the staff have utilized available resources from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the State of California’s Homeless Housing Funds, and Regional Task Force on the Homeless and the County of San Diego funds. A combination of these funds have been used to build the $5 million homeless bridge shelter community. The future annual operating costs of $1.5 million will be provided by State funding. So, no money was spent from the City’s general fund to build this project.
Bringing Back Dignity
Chula Vista is the first City in San Diego County to try something this innovative of creating tiny homes for a homeless shelter. I am honored to be a part of this multi-year process as a Councilmember and now the Mayor. It is fulfilling to see this come to fruition, and it reminds me of the good we can do working together, to serve our constituents and protect our neighborhoods. I look forward to bringing back dignity and hope for the unsheltered and playing an important part in addressing the homelessness crisis.