With one of the worst homelessness crises in the country, San Diego County is scrambling to combat the issue. And that takes a lot of money.

For the past nine months, Voice of San Diego and NBC 7 have been crunching the data behind the funds being used to help the region’s homeless. It turns out the region spent more than $634 million in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 fiscal years combined.

That number includes cash coming from the county, city of San Diego, San Diego Housing Commission and seven other smaller cities in the county – and a large portion of it comes from resources provided by the federal government. But despite the range of numbers provided, there are still some gray areas when it comes to understanding what the numbers mean.

For example, the data includes money used for rental assistance, but not all those who received those services were once homeless.

On this week’s San Diego Explained, Voice of San Diego’s Lisa Halverstadt and Monica Dean break down how much money is being spent to fight homelessness in San Diego.

For a more detail look at the data we found, check out our interactive graphic here.


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

    Written by Adriana Heldiz

    Adriana Heldiz is Voice of San Diego’s Assistant Digital Manager. She makes videos and helps manage the organization’s online presence. Adriana can be reached at adriana.heldiz@voiceofsandiego.org.

    5 comments
    Jay Byrd
    Jay Byrd

    Wow.  Over $320 million a year.  Channel 7 reported that there were about 4,000 people in shelters and about 6,000 people living on the street in the county.  (Makes me question how there are claims of over 21,000 homeless children in the schools.  Hmmm, possible fraud there.)  Back to point, that would mean we are spending $32,000 per homeless person accounted for.  If we continue to raise the standards for these folks, San Diego will make us the mecca for the homeless.  Endless, hopeless attempt that takes taxpayer money and dumps it down the drain. 

    Fighting the Good Fight
    Fighting the Good Fight

    The city realizes there is NO return on investment when it comes to the homeless situation. Why invest millions into a cause that has no returns to the city. Instead, invest on tourism.. and buy into best practices that the Federal Government mandates.. and have HUD pay for the issue. The city likes to take credit for using HUD money.


    Molly Cook
    Molly Cook

    " With one of the worst homelessness crises in the country, San Diego County is scrambling to combat the issue. And that takes a lot of money."


    Sorry, I don't see anybody "scrambling" to combat homelessness in San Diego.  I see a lot of fiddling and fussing and meetings and "plans" but I don't see anybody scrambling.  If that were the case, this problem would have been mitigated years ago.  But there are too many bureaucrats and politicians who benefit from the crisis to get anybody "scrambling."