San Diego to refocus efforts on preventing homelessness
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The city of San Diego needs to focus more resources on preventing homelessness and put more effort into keeping those already helped from returning to the streets, according to a report scheduled to be delivered to the City Council today.
The council plans to hold a special meeting on homelessness issues at 1 p.m. at Golden Hall.
Among the reports council members are scheduled to hear is one by population health scientist Sue Lindsay, executive director of the SDSU Institute for Public Health.
Lindsay found that nearly 15,000 people with a lack of housing sought help from various agencies in the city of San Diego between Oct. 1, 2015, and Sept. 30 of last year — more than half of them needing assistance for the first time in at least five years.
It was “unlikely” that enough affordable housing units would be found for so many people, she said in her report.
“San Diego has very few prevention or diversion programs,” the report said. “We need to invest more fully in interventions with the potential to find upstream solutions.”
She said about one-third of the clients entering San Diego’s system of care for the homeless, which encompasses 50 agencies and organizations, have been helped previously.
Twelve percent of the people asking for help were previously placed in permanent housing, according to her report. She said that calls for more housing vouchers or subsidies for longer periods of time, job assistance and additional client services.
The council members will also hear an update on city homeless programs from the mayor’s office, the county of San Diego and the San Diego Housing Commission.