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Homeless shelter gets funding for renovation

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Constructed more than five years ago as a warehouse to provide temporary winter housing for the county's homeless, Safe Harbor Shelter is scheduled to get a facelift within weeks.

The shelter, which now serves almost 500 people a year, will spend $1.4 million in state and federal earmarks from the county to add partitions for sleeping privacy, counseling offices, a community lounge and loft sleeping dormitory.

“The renovations will turn it into more of a residential setting, with lounge, computer workstation and library,” said Sharon Petersen, spokeswoman for Samaritan House, which runs the facility for the county. Homeless clients will also benefit from added locker space to stow their belongings, Peterson said.

The shelter — the only one that takes intoxicated clients in the county — was originally designed to house clients for 90 to 120 days from around November to April, but has since been converted to year-round use to meet demand, said Larry D. Johnson, from the county's Department of Housing.

In addition to more space, new vinyl flooring and paint are part of the upgrades, Johnson said. He expects construction to begin in the next week or two and wrap up in July or August.

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Portables for 60 people have been set up on the shelter's site on North Access Road in South San Francisco. Another 30 people have been temporarily relocated to shelters throughout the county, Johnson said.


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