On March 11, elected officials and community leaders gathered to celebrate the grand opening of Connections Housing, a $38 million residential and “one-stop shop” service center designed to “reduce street homelessness in the downtown neighborhood by helping people who are living on the street move into permanent housing.”
This exciting event featured many community leaders who spoke in support of the project. In particular, Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins spoke about the importance of the new building, stating “Connections Housing is a collaborative model for reducing homelessness not just in downtown San Diego, but for every community.” San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria also made powerful remarks about the year-round shelter, stating “We will care about our homeless population 52 weeks a year, not 16.”
Jennifer LeSar, President and CEO of LeSar Development Consultants, the Downtown Campaign Coordinator, was also recognized for her influence on the building’s creation by Civic San Diego President Jeff Graham, who stated “Jennifer educated our community on the housing first model and crafted the one-stop shop model.” Other speakers and attendees included included County Supervisors Ron Roberts and Greg Cox, Mayor Bob Filner, City Councilmembers Kevin Falcouner and Lorie Zapf, and San Diego Housing Commission President and CEO Rick Gentry.
Connections Housing provides 223 housing units (including 73 permanent supportive units), a health center operated by Family Health Centers of San Diego, and social services provided by more than three dozen agencies at the PATH Depot. For more pictures of the event, which was attended by more than 800 San Diegans, visit the Campaign’s Facebook page. In addition, you can watch a video of the event here.