The first of three shelters opened Friday in San Diego, as the city struggles to control a crisis of homeless people.
The first of three industrial-size tents to house homeless people in San Diego opened Friday as part of the city's efforts to contain an outbreak of hepatitis A.
About 20 people arrived at the bunks Friday at a store that will house 350 single men and women. At the end of this month another two giant tents will be opened, one for families and another for veterans.
San Diego resorted to tents to get people out of the streets and contain an outbreak of hepatitis A that killed 20 people last year.  "There will be a marked difference in what we see on the streets today and what we see at this time next year," said Bob McElroy of the Alpha Project, the non-profit group that will operate the stores.
"There's going to be a marked difference in what we see today on the streets and what we see at this time next year."
– Bob McElroy of the Alpha Project, a group that will operate San's stores Diego for the homeless
More than 3,000 people have been living on the streets of San Diego. The city opened a temporary camp in October, where 200 people lived in tents. Now they will move to the new giant stores.
The goal is for residents to stay no longer than 120 days, and for 65 percent of those who move to move to permanent housing. The city had to divert $ 6.5 million budgeted for permanent housing to finance the operation of stores for seven months.
The stores were proposed by business leaders and others who saw the project as a way to create a safe and humane environment for homeless people living in unsafe conditions and threatened by hepatitis A, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. .
Carp will provide a variety of services, from mental health care to home browsers. But the city still faces acute shortages of housing for the poor. Mayor Kevin Faulconer has allocated more than $ 80 million in funds to address the problem.
Gemma Librado lives one block from the tent she opened on Friday. She said she is happy to see the streets cleaned, but worries that she could attract more homeless people. Last Sunday, a drugged homeless man with a bleeding hand ran into his apartment when she opened the door and locked herself in the bathroom. She and her 6-year-old son ran away and called the police. The man broke things in the bathroom, left blood stains on the floor and scared her.
"If this makes things more orderly than I support this," he said. "But I'm worried, I do not want this to generate more homeless people in the area or people who use drugs, there are families with children around here."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.