Convention Center/Golden Hall Shelter Information
Operational Update (As of March 5, 2021)
On March 5, 2021, Mayor Todd Gloria announced that residents of the operation at the San Diego Convention Center would be safely relocated to the City’s reconfigured shelters, where they will continue to receive shelter and services.
The following is a summary of the transition:
Where will people go?
No one sheltering at the Convention Center will be forced to return to street homelessness. All residents have been notified of the upcoming transition. Over the coming weeks, staff will work with guests to determine the best option to continue serving them at one of the other shelter sites. Housing navigation staff will continue to support individuals and continue matching them to units and resources like vouchers and subsidies.
When will people begin moving from the Convention Center?
Moves to the other City shelters are slated to begin the week of March 22. The moves will occur in phases to allow for proper physical distancing in the process. All individuals are expected to be in their new shelter locations by the end of March.
What has been done to ensure the safety of individuals at the City's shelters?
The City worked closely with the County, Housing Commission and service providers to reconfigure the City’s homeless shelters to continue to serve the maximum possible number of people per night while also adhering to public health guidelines for COVID-19 prevention and mitigation. Daily temperature checks and health screenings, along with mask-wearing, handwashing and santization and other preventative measures will be required for all shelter clients and staff.
Overview of Operation Shelter to Home: Regional Approach to Helping Our Homeless Neighbors
The Regional Task Force on the Homeless in partnership with our region’s cities, the County of San Diego, San Diego Housing Commission and our homeless service providers have developed a new, system-wide, coordinated plan to further help sheltered and unsheltered individuals remain healthy during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Dubbed “Operation Shelter to Home,” the temporary repurposing of Golden Hall and the San Diego Convention Center in the City of San Diego as shelters will support a broader regional approach to address homelessness during this state of emergency.
A Focus on Housing
Staff at the Convention Center will be focused on finding housing for individuals as well as sheltering them. The Operation Shelter to Home Incident Command team has identified a number of exit strategies to quickly transition people into permanent housing solutions – ultimately reducing the number of individuals experiencing homelessness in our region.
Individuals are being moved into Golden Hall and the Convention Center in a phased approach to ensure needs and resources are scaled appropriately. Once physical distancing requirements have been met for current shelter residents, capacity will be assessed to intake unsheltered San Diegans. When beds become available for unsheltered San Diegans, the Regional Task Force and our partners will provide information and clear direction to service providers and outreach teams on how to access shelter beds.
Golden Hall and the Convention Center will offer services similar to other shelters, including 24-hour security, meals, showers, bathrooms, laundry services, case managers and housing navigation. The County of San Diego will provide mental and behavioral health services, healthcare and daily health screenings. The Convention Center has installed large projectors and Wi-Fi access for clients to have entertainment and full connectivity for work, school or other needs.
Any individual exhibiting symptoms that is identified for isolation, , or part of a vulnerable population who is at greater risk of exposure, will continue to be placed in various hotel and motel rooms for temporary lodging per San Diego County’s guidance.
How can I get help or help someone in need?
If it is an emergency, please call 9-1-1 immediately. For non-emergencies, you can call 2-1-1 or visit 211sandiego.org. For members of the public who do not have access to a medical provider, 2-1-1 has a nurse triage line.
Coordinated outreach teams are now engaging with people living outdoors to offer them shelter appropriate to their condition, whether it be at the convention center, a motel room or another option. Partner agencies include the City’s Homeless Outreach Teams, Downtown San Diego Partnership, Regional Task Force on the Homeless, County Health and Human Services Agency, PATH, and service providers.
The effort is similar to the approach used when City bridge shelters were first opened in 2017. It follows proven practices local agencies normally use to engage unsheltered homeless individuals.
To connect individuals located outside of the City of San Diego, it is recommended to engage with the homeless outreach workers or service providers operating where the client currently resides. There may already be resources and options available to serve clients where they are instead of uprooting them from their known service system. You can also call 2-1-1 for additional assistance.
The City of San Diego has received generous contributions from local businesses and residents to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additional resources are still greatly needed. All donations must be cleared through the City’s Emergency Operations Center. Drop off donations will not be accepted.
If you have resources you are able to contribute, please visit sandiego.gov/donate.
Other steps being taken include:
- Installation of 257 handwashing stations throughout the region.
- Procurement of hotel and motel rooms by the County to temporarily isolate individuals who may have symptoms.
- Public health nurses are deployed to shelters across the region including: San Diego Convention Center, Golden Hall, Haven House, La Posada, Operation Hope North County, Rachel’s Women’s Shelter, San Diego Rescue Mission and Veterans Village of San Diego.
- Public Health nurses have been assigned to Homeless Outreach Teams to educate individuals living on the streets, in the canyons and in the riverbed about COVID-19.
- Assessing supply needs with homeless service providers on a regular basis and assisting when possible to distribute items based on need.