City leaders shuttered two temporary winter tents for the final time last year in favor of a permanent, year-round shelter with a goal of getting more people off the streets.
When local leaders announced plans to make the shift nearly 18 months ago, they hailed it as a move that would better connect the homeless with services and housing.
“The permanent shelter will provide supportive services to help them stabilize their lives and most importantly, transition to permanent housing, which is, of course, the ultimate goal,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said at a December 2014 press conference announcing a request for proposals for the year-round shelter.
But in the months since the 350-bed shelter opened downtown, the new program at Father Joe’s Village’s downtown campus hasn’t transitioned the bulk of its clients into permanent housing.
Data provided by Father Joe’s reveals only 17 percent of the more than 1,500 who left the shelter through the end of April moved into permanent housing. Nearly a quarter moved to transitional programs, which connect homeless people with services and supports before housing. Transitional programs are being discouraged by federal officials who believe housing should come first.
At a November press conference, Faulconer and others praised Father Joe’s for moving more than half of the homeless who’d exited the program into longer-term housing – a broad term that includes both permanent housing, the city’s ultimate goal, and transitional housing, which federal officials and others discourage. It can also include treatment facilities, which can house people for weeks or months but not indefinitely.
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I tend to wonder what Father Joes considers long-term housing from my own experience. And the San Diego housing market is impossible for most people to deal with who are homeless. The rents are too expensive, and if you go for roommates you are left at relying on others to keep a roof over your head.
For myself , I got sort of lucky and am in an SRO. But barely make ends meet at times.
@Kathy S Homeless are either being moved around the East Village area (or around Downtown in general), or the numbers really are increasing. I've gone to Padres games since the beginning of Petco Park in 2004, and based on my own observations, the numbers are definitely increasing.
Disappointingly, this article goes out of its way to make a positive sound like a negative. Despite permanent housing resources being in short supply, the interim shelter program has still more than doubled the percentage of people exiting to longer term housing (53% vs. 26%). More to the point, the interim shelter program is doing exactly what it is supposed to: connect people on the streets to the resources they need to get housed. This is the beginning of a new, more systematic approach to the issue of homelessness. Is more progress needed? Of course. Father Joe’s Villages continues to do all that we can with the resources available to help get people off the streets. In the meantime, the results are better, and now they’re year round. This is a step in the right direction. Please learn more here: http://my.neighbor.org/ceo-deacon-jim-answers-is-the-interim-housing-program-working/
From 2012-2014 the 350-bed Homeless Tents were opened year round, and always filled each night.
For years, the City and SDHC stated the Homeless 200-Bed Downtown Tent, and the 150-Bed Midway Veterans Tents could only be Temporary or Winter only. For made up reasons, the City stated that Tents had to be broken down at least once a year. Our argument back is that if the Homeless Tents could not be year-round, then the many tents at local Hotels for wedding receptions would also have to be taken down every year. Otherwise its discrimination against the poor.
In 2013, the City finally admitted the Winter only Homeless Tents idea could have always been year-round, and still be in conformance with the State law and the Municipal Code.