In San Diego, the most common way to assist the homeless has historically been through transitional housing programs. These offer months or even years of services to help and provide temporary shelter for people as they work toward finding permanent housing.

The federal government, though, is moving toward funding a different approach to housing the homeless. The model is called housing first and it prioritizes getting homeless people into permanent housing quickly rather than focusing on interventions first.

The policy change has left San Diego service providers like Father Joe’s scrambling to embrace the new model or risk losing funding.

On this week’s San Diego Explained, VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt and NBC 7 San Diego’s Monica Dean shed light on the shift that’s under way and detail why it’s important.

    This article relates to: Government, Quest: Homelessness, San Diego Explained

    Written by Lina Chankar

    Chris Wood
    Chris Wood subscriber


    What to do about San Diego homeless?  How about identifying low cost undeveloped land and putting in water, sewer and electricity for tiny houses in an area close to San Diego such as the one below:,+CA/@32.587751,-116.9656545,3a,70.4y,75.01h,77.48t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sjqBm697wuXVws2avkGZuTA!2e0!6s//!7i13312!8i6656!4m2!3m1!1s0x80d9530fad921e4b:0xd3a21fdfd15df79!6m1!1e1?hl=en

    Continuous shuttle buses between there and downtown (or wherever services/jobs? are located) would limit isolation.  “Homes” would be like the 279 sq ft.

    Which has electricity water and heat connections - list cost is $27K.  That may be nearer installed cost when purchased in volume. A community laundromat, kitchen, medical facility, employment/training assistance and starting with married couples (2 per home) would be a way to provide permanent housing for ~$15K/per person (+utilities) and might get the homeless launched back into society.

    Donald Sexton
    Donald Sexton

    Bless you VoSD for your investigations & exposure of conditions & issues affecting the public, promoting solutions that provide for well-being & possible resolutions for those that have endured injury, injustice, & persecution ...

    Nobody has ever reached out considering the injuries, injustice, & financial disparities I've endured from shelter, education, medical treatment for injuries, support & protection from injuries, injustice, theft, torture, terrorism, ... it has been exploitation, negligence, & corruption worse than anyplace on Earth.

    Just to add another layer on the type of cake I've been served since honorable USN retirement, I recently visited the San Diego Housing Commission office this past Friday, 20160212 @ 1500 where I was blown off for over an hour with no assistance or consideration. I am qualified for subsidies; I brought the required information, references, & credentials but they could not have shown me out the door any faster. I was merely provided wasteful documents that duplicated the online information.

    Then I spoke with a supposed ombudsman, whom I indicated the lack of assistance along with knowledge about the exorbitant funds for veteran programs that the SDHC & others are promoting (they were actually on their meeting agenda held that very day) but she had no answers or assistance despite the office still operating through 1800 that day.

    There are several programs promoted by the propaganda ironically titled Homeless Veterans Initiative of Housing First & Housing Our Heroes Campaign but some honor, it's all insincerity & hypocrisy along with more corruption & fraud from more San Diego kleptocracy getting indulged while I'm exploited & neglected. Not the only time I've been considered negligible as roadkill.

    This type of treatment & worse has happened for years since I've transitioned from honorable USN retirement & conditions have only deteriorated. I should have been supported over a decade ago but nearly every supposed benefit & entitlement that I earned has been an absolute failure if ever provided while I endure poverty, disparity, injury, & injustice.

    The pithy retirement pension remains meager & has not kept pace with any suitable cost of living measure while others that have never served get indulged & serve their own self-interests, the institutions emplaced that supposedly ensure the funds for programs for my consideration are not distributed but they hoard, misappropriate, & keep the exorbitant indulgences without oversight & accountability. It is a repulsive & disgusting situation that should have been prevented but has exacerbated without due recognition & without resolution.

    Even when I indicated the financial & other issues (injuries, theft, & other evidence of egregious injustice) imposing disparity, austerity, malnourishment, & hunger but instead of ensuring the programs created for such support & subsistence would provide the means I deserve for self reliance, the present primary treatment person & the social work personnel at the VASD promoted the use of food banks, charity, & other such unreliable sources not associated or affiliated with them so they could once again avoid responsibility & 'pass the buck' into their own coffers & pockets. The misleading propaganda fails exposing the chiselers, shysters, shills, & welchers that have been complicit in much corruption especially exploiting & neglecting this retiree along with other veterans deserving much better but such unethical & immoral conduct exemplify the character of San Diego, CA.

    William Charles
    William Charles

    This is called the federal government's "Bunks For Drunks" program because the outgoing Obama Administration wants to claim that they are reducing homelessness... when in reality they are requiring organizations to take in irresponsible drug addicts who ruin the programs for people who really want to be rehabilitated. 

    La Playa Heritage
    La Playa Heritage subscribermember

    Everyone knows that Housing First is very important.  Housing First versus Transitional Housing in NOT the problem.  That Housing First issued was solved by HUD on January 1, 2016. Problem already solved. 

    More important, Leadership in San Diego has failed to confirm or deny local available unencumbered funding sources and ongoing Revenues within the City and County of San Diego to solve our Homeless problem immediately. Today.

    VOSD:  Please investigate the required Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) Post Audits from FY-2011 to the present for the Successor Agency and Housing LMIHAF.  These State-required Audits do not exist. Therefore, the amount of Cash siting in the bank that can be directed to the Homeless is still unknown.

    The Best Solution for the Homeless would be for our Strong Mayor Faulconer to follow the lead of the City of San Jose,.  On December 8, 2015 San Jose gave the local Non-Profit, Catholic, and Faith-Based Communities blanket protection to House the Homeless in Churches, public Libraries, and Community Centers, without amending their existing multi-million Conditional Use Permits (CUP). Though a vote by the San Jose City Council.  Please replicate in San Diego. 

    2016 is the Year of Mercy. Someone. Please investigate funding solutions using the $42 million the City Council gave away in RPTTF Revenue due to being snookered by City and Civic San Diego staff.