County to reconsider Southside Road homeless shelter site

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Some of the tents and surroundings have become fairly intricate.

After previously deciding on a Southside Road location, the county board is revisiting the chosen site for a future, permanent homeless shelter.
Supervisor Jaime De La Cruz at Tuesday’s meeting motioned for the board to reconsider the location, an old convalescent hospital site on Southside Road owned by the county. Neighbors of the site have publicly opposed the location while favoring somewhere closer to social services near downtown.
Supervisors agreed Tuesday they will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 29 to discuss the shelter site.
Supervisor Robert Rivas, the apparent swing vote, said he would agree to revisit the location because of lacking public input the last time around.
Supervisors Margie Barrios and Anthony Botelho are strongly in favor of the Soutside Road site. Supervisor Jerry Muenzer and De La Cruz are against that location.
Rivas acknowledged supervisors already made a decision on the site.
“However, I have come full circle and believe the public vetting process should’ve been more thorough,” Rivas said.
County officials expect to review all the possible homeless shelter sites that have been on the table, not just Southside Road’s location.
Botelho was upset that the board was reconsidering the location of a homeless shelter site. He said the discussion planned for next Tuesday puts the county back to “square one.”
“We’re wasting time,” Botelho told a room full of opponents. “There’s people that need help, and I want to get to it.”
He said there would be a “room full of people regardless where put it.”
“We only have one or two county sites that we own that is even a possibility. We know that Flynn Road is not very feasible. There’s a ton of opposition to that. And we have the hospital site, which we decided on.”
Look back for more.

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