ESCONDIDO — A former motel has been transformed into a 106-bed center offering post-hospitalization and recuperative care for homeless individuals.
Interfaith Community Services recently unveiled the new Abraham and Lillian Turk Recuperative Care Center, which will provide care for veterans and civilians leaving hospitals who have recuperative care needs and are struggling with homelessness.
Interfaith transformed former America’s Best Value Inn & Suites, a 77-motel on the corner of North Centre City Parkway and West Washington Avenue, with the help of a $6 million grant from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and community donors. The project cost $15 million to complete overall.
“We’ll be helping veterans and civilians coming out of hospitals who have medical needs, who have mental health needs and don’t have a home,” said Interfaith CEO Greg Anglea. “We’ll connect these individuals with primary care, with mental health services, and then help them get into stable housing.”
The program has had great success in curbing homelessness since its inception in 2015.
“We had a proven, effective program that helped to stop people from going back to the streets after leaving the hospital,” said Fiona King, director of development at Interfaith. “Imagine what it’s like being discharged from the hospital, but this time, you don’t have a home and a real place to heal.”
Through multiple local partnerships, Interfaith expanded its recuperative care program. Before the new center, the recuperative care program operated out of the Hawthorne Veteran and Family Resource Center on Ash Street with only 32 beds.
Local hospitals and recovery clinics refer patients to be placed in the recuperative care center.
“This is a partnership between healthcare, Interfaith Community Services, the County of San Diego, and community donors to turn a blighted hotel into a first-class place of healing,” Anglea said.
After the program and its patients complete the transition to the new center in the next month, the Hawthorne facility will be renovated to be used as Interfaith’s new family shelter. King noted this year’s Point-in-Time Count saw a 56% increase in family homelessness since 2020.
“This is a big need,” King said about the family shelter.
Interfaith also operates a 38-bed addiction recovery program and a 44-bed emergency shelter. According to King, the shelter is almost always at total capacity, illustrating a need for more shelters in the area.
“I think that what a lot of people don’t realize about the number of people on the streets is there aren’t enough shelter beds, especially in North County,” King said.