Delays in remodeling slow progress at Oceanside’s first homeless shelter

Oceanside’s first homeless shelter is operated by the San Diego Rescue Mission at the old Ocean Shores High School. But the buildings need remodeling, and a shovel has yet to be pounded on the ground to prepare the 50-bed homeless shelter.

“Not much has changed since we signed the service agreement, and I regret that…but patience is a virtue,” said Donnie Dee, president of the San Diego Rescue Mission.

Dee says he was hoping to be open now, but since the site is owned by the city everything has to be approved by them first.

“Since November it has only submitted plans and tried to get permits. Our contractor had to get an acceptable license,” he said.

This is the first time the San Diego Rescue Mission has partnered with a government agency.

RELATED: Downtown San Diego animal shelter gets new contract, with plans for new animal shelter in Midway County

“We usually own our own stuff and set our own schedules,” Dee said. “But working with another community, we had to jump through some hurdles just to try to figure this out. I think that delayed it a bit. ”

The city required three separate bids for all of the work before one was approved.

In a statement, the City of Oceanside said that when a project of this magnitude is being developed, it is normal and expected that plans will change.

But Dee says work on the shelter will begin soon, saying: “We’re ready to start demolition. That will happen next week. This will take a few weeks to clean up. Then they start renovating this property.”

The rescue mission is responsible for funding the operations of the shelter, while the city is responsible for funding the remodeling of the buildings.

Last month, the city of Oceanside received $2.25 million in federal funding to remodel the homeless shelter.

RELATED: California senator proposes checks for low-income, homeless high school seniors

“As far as I know, they’re going to use it to renovate this facility, which has a budget of about $2 million. And then there’s three or four hundred thousand to set it up,’ said Dee.

While the 50-bed shelter won’t solve Oceanside’s homelessness, Dee said he hopes the shelter will fill up immediately to apply for an expansion.

“I hope that I have to go to my board and into town and say, ‘Look, we don’t have enough beds. We’re getting people off the streets in a remarkable way, we need more beds.” That would be a great next step and I hope that happens,” he said.

Demolition is due to begin in the coming weeks and Dee hopes to be open by late summer.

Leave a Comment