By Miriam Raftery
Photo by Robert Gehr: A homeless person sleeps in a tent on Main Street in downtown El Cajon.
November 24, 2022 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s grant application to purchase property to build a homeless shelter has been rejected by the County. According to El Cajon City Manager Graham Mitchell, County staff informed him that the grant was rejected because “the City did not own the property that was being proposed for the shelter – in other words, the City did not own the property that the grant was intended to purchase.”
Mitchell, in an email sent to El Cajon’s Mayor and City Council, said he told County staff in a pre-grant question and answer session that the city intended to apply for a grant to buy land for a shelter. “The response was that the city should still apply and explain how the site will be obtained,” he wrote. “During their follow-p questions of the City’s grant application, they asked for an update and we indicated that an appraisal was on its way and that the formal offer was about to be made.”
The application was made through the County’s Capital Emergency Housing Solutions Grant Program, for which Supervisor Joel Anderson had urged East County cities including El Cajon to apply.