Nearly 60 percent of San Diegans who came in contact with an agency that serves the homeless are new to the streets – and that number is throwing a harsh spotlight on the lack of programs to help those people.
Last year, nearly 10,300 new clients accessed homeless services. Just 664 people on the verge of homelessness received aid to try to help them avoid becoming homeless, according to new data that will be presented at a Monday City Council town hall on homelessness. The data reflects the number of folks who hadn’t accessed homeless services the previous five years.
Members of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, a group that oversees regional efforts to battle homelessness, zeroed in on the discrepancy between the need for aid and what’s available when they reviewed the numbers at their meeting last Thursday.
“We need prevention and diversion in this town, and we need it now,” said Sue Lindsay, who leads San Diego State University’s Institute for Public Health and was hired to help the task force analyze the data.
For years, federal agencies have prioritized funding to help homeless veterans and those who’ve spent years on the streets. San Diego nonprofits have responded by stepping up their programs for those populations.
There’s been far less focus on San Diego’s newly homeless folks.
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Here is my thoughts on today’s Street People item. To call them “Homeless” is about as sensitive as calling the undocumented “illegals” or Elected Officials as just “Politicians”. San Diego is just as much their home as you and I.
I am suggesting two things:
1.Form AD Hoc Council Action Committee; and
2.The new proposed City Budget must contain DEPARTMENT DETAIL for Human Health, Housing, & Services
The current Housing Commission may be a component of that approach but it has demonstrated that it is incapable of leading the full effort. You can not force a new mission on a group that views it mission as "Housing First"
All the best,
John W. Stump,
City Heights, California 92105
READ LUKE 16 19-31
This is an area where integration of mainstream services like CalWorks and General Relief could help. For families, CalWorks has a homeless assistance program which recently was updated to allow people to use it once a year to pay a deposit or find shelter. General Relief, the program aimed at people without families is 100% funded and established by the County and could be re-worked to, first of all, not be just a loan. Second, it could be used as part of a landlord incentive program. HUD as developed a lot of ideas in this area.
@Nathan Wollmann San Diego Schools should be part of the prevention formula.
It is well established that 4th grade reading score predict future dysfunctional citizens.
Schools are the first shelters for disaster Why not t now?
One of the problems seems to be the extremely long time it takes to get any development permitted and built. It is possible to get an exemption for homeless housing? Perhaps as others have proposed, a pre-approved set of plans or conditions, that a homeless housing development must meet? If a development met these conditions, then approval would happen in months instead of years. Lastly, homeless developments should be exempt from Greenmail by the unions.
We can solve this problem if we work together, that however requires compromise and we seem to have difficult with that.
@Bruce Higgins While speeding up the permitting would help to keep down the cost of building housing for the homeless, the savings from such would be a pittance. The cost of building and operating such housing is enormous, given the fact that there would be little or no rental income coming in from the residents. Supportive services for the homeless are also expensive. If this city wants to make a comittment to housing the homeless, it must come up with the money to do it. Last fall, the City of Los Angeles and 4 other jurisdictions in California approved bond issues specifically geared to housing and sevices for the homeless. The Los Angeles bond measure alone was for $1.2 billion, plus another bond measure for services that ANgelinos approved a few months ago. San Diego elected officials have barely talked about such a fund raising strategy. However, we do have the mayor talking about (again!) a convention center expansion bond measure!
Politics is the art of the possible. Speeding up the permitting process is a step along the path we need to go. It is therefore a worth while thing to do in its own right. To use a baseball analogy, I will hit a single all day, every day, rather than watch three straight strikes go by waiting for my home run pitch.
@Bruce Higgins What the hell are you talking about? Do you want us to believe that street people are living in tent because you can't build more development. These folks have been displaced by cheap, fee free overdevelopment. Developers have gotten a free ride for too long and caused this crisis.
Big Yellow Taxi, my friend
How can individuals help stem the tide of homelessness in San Diego? Where can we, as individuals, apply our shoulders to uplift the homeless? This is such a tragedy! The City of San Diego has not stepped up to help these people and that is shameful. What can we do as individuals to put pressure on the Mayor and City Council?