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San Diego's H Barracks could include shelter, goes before Coastal Commission this week


SAN DIEGO (FOX 5/KUSI) — A permit application filed by the City of San Diego with the California Coastal Commission shows that part of the H Barracks in Point Loma could also include a potential shelter. The application is set to be acted upon this Wednesday.

Lashay Roberts, currently living in a van, said, “It’s been difficult because we don’t have a routine – a stable spot to stay at.” Her red van is as stable for she and her partner Aiden Casper along with their four-legged friend.

“We’re both trying to look for jobs at the same time,” Roberts said.

It’s a long road with little resources, making it tough to find solid ground.

“We’re hopping around, going from a 24-hour open place to this one that is not,” Roberts said.

A proposed safe sleeping site at the H Barracks lot on Harbor Drive, equipped with restrooms, showers, and mental health services, could change that.

The site would mainly serve people experiencing homelessness for the first time, helping them get back on their feet.

“Being able to have a shower, some food, a safer spot,” Robert said.

But now there’s growing contention over what else is part of the H Barracks plan.

A permit submitted in April with the Coastal Commission shows a second phase including a potential temporary 600-bed shelter. It will be voted on this Wednesday after hearing from the public.

Falconer, the director of Point Loma Cares, says the shelter wasn’t addressed when the mayor talked about plans for H Barracks in June.

“It just gives us more anxiety as to what exactly are the intentions behind what’s going on here and what may or may not trigger building this phase two,” he said. “We’re 250 yards away from Terminal 2 at the airport, we’re across the street from a children’s playground.”

In a statement, the city says it is focused exclusively on hosting a safe parking program at the H Barracks site. It says there are no plans to move forward with sprung structures but included them in the application to preserve the option should it be needed.

For this couple living in their van for a second year in a row, all they hope for is change.

“I was a professional. My circumstances worked out to where I ended up having to move out. You never know what’s going to happen to you,” Roberts said.

The California Coastal Commission will act on the city’s application this Wednesday. If you’d like to sign up to speak, visit this link on the California Coastal Commission website.

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