Needy have new home on the horizon

Alex Pena’s possessions are piled up on his bike as he packs up his stuff at the homeless encampment formerly along Fourth Street on the west side. File photo by Nick Lovejoy

The county’s future Homeless Services Center at 1161 San Felipe Road is over the horizon.

San Benito County supervisors approved the contract for architectural design with In Studio Architecture at the Aug. 9 meeting for the amount of $66,400.

But construction isn’t anticipated until next summer at the earliest. Pre-construction is a two-step process: First the architecture firm comes up with the design. Then the county starts a bidding process to find a contractor to build the design.

The goal is to have the Homeless Services Center finished by next November, which is around the time the existing winter shelter usually opens.

Currently, the winter shelter is a small space that offers no services and only enough space for a limited number of homeless people to spend the night. The new, permanent Homeless Services Center will be open year-round. The winter shelter will cease operations once the new center is completed.

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