SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego City Council today unanimously accepted and authorized the expenditure of a $2 million state grant to support startup costs for an emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence.
The $2 million AB 179 pass-through grant from the California Office of Emergency Services will be used by the city's Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department to develop a program that ``provides a safe space and critical resources for victims of domestic violence,'' city documents read.
An additional two-year grant of $6.8 million from San Diego County will complete funding on the project. The council will consider accepting the county grant in coming months. The state funding expires June 2024, while the county grant would run for two years.
``Similar to other city-funded emergency shelters, the program will utilize a trauma-informed, person-centered approach and will offer case management, basic needs assistance, and resource referrals that best meet the needs of each individual,'' according to the city.
Councilwoman Marni von Wilpert, who spearheaded the city's ghost gun-banning Eliminate Non-Serialized Untraceable Firearms ordinance in 2021, said the grant funding was welcomed, but also cautioned her fellow councilmembers and the office of City Attorney Mara Elliott to be wary of a Supreme Court case scheduled for the docket this fall.
In late June, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that could allow people who are found to pose a credible threat of violence against their partner or child to retain the right to own and use guns.
Von Wilpert said depending on the ruling in that case, the city's existing law to allow the City Attorney's office to issue gun violence restraining orders and other laws like it could be overturned.
The grant funding Tuesday comes just two days after the temporary closure of the homeless women's shelter at the Old Central Library in Downtown, due to an expiring permit.
``We opened the temporary shelter at the Old Central Library this past January to get vulnerable women safely off the street and put on a path to housing,'' Mayor Todd Gloria said. ``With our 180-day permit expiring, we will be closing the shelter on July 23 with plans to reopen it in six months with a new 180-day permit.
``When we opened the shelter, I indicated that our long-term plan for the property was to transform it into shelter and affordable housing, and that's precisely what we intend to do,'' he said. ``I will be bringing a proposal to the City Council this fall.''
According to city records, through April 30, the shelter had served 105 women, 77 of whom were chronically homeless. Of these clients, 49 were at least 55 years old, 45 were women of color and 40 were survivors of domestic violence. A total of 22 women exited the shelter to temporary or permanent destinations.
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