San Diego/ Community & Society
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Published on November 08, 2023
San Diego's O Lot, A Safe Sleeping Haven Addressing the Homelessness Crisis in Balboa ParkSource: Google Street View

San Diego's ongoing homelessness crisis is being addressed with the new safe sleeping space - O Lot, in Balboa Park. This site, designed to accommodate 400 tents, offers security and vital resources to its residents, per Inside San Diego.

Based on the success of the first site at 20th and B Streets, O Lot was created to facilitate San Diego's Comprehensive Shelter Strategy. The strategy is dedicated to using multiple approaches to solve homelessness, with the ultimate call focusing on helping residents find permanent accommodation, as reported by Hoodline.

Both projects were catalyzed by the collaboration between Dreams for Change and the Downtown San Diego Partnership. In addition to providing shelter, they offer services that address the needs of the site's inhabitants. These amenities such as insulated tents, sanitary facilities, and meal provisions drastically improve residents' living conditions. They also provide a vast support system that connects residents to essential services and helps them transition to permanent homes, according to Hoodline.

The admission to these safe sleeping sites is carefully managed. Referrals are needed from outreach workers, nonprofit organizations, or first responders, including the San Diego Police Department. This process allows the creation of a transformative environment for its qualified residents.

In a testament to O Lot's significance, a resident named Jerri reported in Inside San Diego, how the site has provided her a sense of belonging. She appreciates having her space while still being connected to a support network - a balance that allows her to work on securing permanent housing.