Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa writes about nonprofits and local progress in addressing causes like homelessness and Balboa Park’s needs. She welcomes story tips and questions. Contact her directly at or 619.325.0528.

For years, federal agencies and San Diego nonprofits have prioritized funding to help homeless veterans and those who’ve spent years on the streets. There’s been far less focus on those who are teetering on the brink of homelessness, or who have just become homeless — though those people might be easier and cheaper to help.

It’s a common refrain during school bond campaigns: Vote yes and we promise your money will go to construction projects, not district employees. Turns out that’s not quite true. Districts across California, including the San Diego Unified and Grossmont Union High school districts, have openly been spending bond money on employee costs for more than […]

In the absence of city or regional plans to address the growing homelessness crisis, business districts are stepping up with their own initiatives. Some groups have taken steps that do more to displace homeless folks than help them get off the street.

Proposals for a homeless intake facility for years failed to gain traction but the idea is now a central piece in Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s plan to address homelessness. What changed? For one, two powerful business leaders who have the mayor’s ear took a strong interest in the idea.

VOSD’s debuting a new feature known as Storyboard, which features stories from teachers, parents, students and experts that offer insight on ways improve the education system for multilingual families and students learning English. Mario Koran explained the effort here. Our first passage comes from VOSD contributor Jocelyn Moran, an SDSU journalism student. She opens up about […]