We had great turnout and robust conversation at the city’s winter tent homeless shelter in Barrio Logan Thursday night. My thanks to everyone who came, and to the Alpha Project for hosting us. We were in essentially the living room of the big tent, where more than 200 people sleep each night.
The event fit into our Quest series on homelessness. Many great questions came in for our five panelists. We’ll have videos from their presentations, and more answers to your questions, in the coming days. In the meantime, check out some photos that Sam Hodgson took as the conversation unfolded.
It rained right before the event started, underscoring the urgency many of the tent’s residents feel during the winter to find a place to sleep indoors.
A group of Voice of San Diego members pitched in to serve dinner.
Bob McElroy, director of the Alpha Project, welcomed the crowd to the tent.
Kelly Knight told the story of a man named Chris, who she helped through the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s Work Your Way Home program.
Kimberly Becker told a moving story of her own recovery and highlighted the services that Catholic Charities provides for homeless women.
St. Vincent de Paul Village’s Marc Stevenson shared the details of a project to house and provide services for 35 of the county’s most frequent users of emergency rooms and jails.
Rick Schnell, a sergeant with the San Diego Police Department, highlighted the difficulty officers face when asked to move homeless people along the streets or in encampments. Where can they send them?
“Zero. That’s the number of available (shelter) beds each night.” Sgt. Rick Schnell with SDPD Homeless Outreach Team. #sdhomeless
— Kelly Davis (@citybeatkelly) February 22, 2013
Danny McCray, who runs security and logistics for the Girls Think Tank Transitional Storage Center, described the hurdles he overcame to find housing and work.
He told a moving story of his wife, Cynthia, sticking with him in the midst of their homelessness.
— Scott Lewis (@vosdscott) February 22, 2013
Here she is taking video of his presentation from the front row:
I thought the best seats in the house were probably the top bunks:
Let’s keep this conversation going. What’s sticking with you? What’d you think of the event?
And what questions do you still have for our presenters or people from other organizations who were there last night? Leave them below and I’ll give our panelists the chance to respond.
All photos by Sam Hodgson.
I’m Kelly Bennett, reporter for Voice of San Diego. You can reach me directly at email@example.com or 619.325.0531.