It’s one of San Diego’s most overwhelming challenges: What to do about homeless folks who abruptly scream at strangers or openly suffer with debilitating depression – yet seem unwilling to seek help.
San Diego County officials responded to that particular part of the homelessness dilemma with a major program that aims to treat and house hundreds of these vulnerable San Diegans
A year ago, county supervisors pledged to try to move 1,250 homeless San Diegans with serious mental illnesses into new apartments over the next few years.
County supervisors promised to treat and provide supportive services to hundreds of people and work with cities across the region to subsidize their rent.
It was a significant commitment. Advocates have long criticized the county for not doing enough to address the region’s growing crisis.
It’s called Project One for All. It has helped get dozens off the streets since county contracts were first expanded early last year and drawn praise from even some of the most skeptical local advocates.
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As a social worker at the largest psychiatric hospital in the county, I am aware that there is a long wait list for homeless mentally ill people to be accepted into the case management programs offered by the county. For example, I was told last week that it would take 3-4 weeks to evaluate whether a client would be accepted into the program, and if accepted, the person wouldn't actually enter the program until April because of their wait list. It should be obvious that a mentally ill person leaving a psychiatric hospital will be lost to follow up during that time.
Has anyone proposed combining San Diego city and county homeless efforts? It would seem to save money both on funding and managerial/administrative personnel. When you look at a map of the area, city and county borderlines weave in and out in a lot of places, and I would imagine that a good share of long term homeless interface with agencies in both jurisdictions.
I agree. I'm still waiting to hear what the comprehensive plan to come out of the merger between RTFH and RCCC. Federal guidelines and successful efforts elsewhere show clearly that a comprehensive housing first effort works. It just seems like they're trying to avoid that like the plague. They seem to be hoping this whole thing will just go away.
Ok, I have to walk part of my comment back a bit. It looks like the RTFHSD is working with a consulting group on a three year plan. What this company has done so far seems in line with what has been successful in dealing with homelessness. If the City and County work well with them, there could be good solutions coming. I just hope that we can get self-sufficiency programs to be involved in the conversation. In the past, leaders have avoided the connection between homelessness and the failure of programs that already exist to address homelessness. Whatever solution we come up with will need to address self-sufficiency programs if we intend to follow federal guidelines on virtually ending homelessness and also to have success in this area.
@Nathan Wollmann It's not a failure on the service providers part.. the service providers hit their numbers. It's the RISING RENTS! Also, affordable housing is almost impossible to qualify for. A person has to have a spotless rental and credit history. Most homeless individuals have evictions, bad credit and gaps in their rental history.. They fail to meet the affordable housing's requirements.