Broad Coalition of Leaders Launch New Homeless Outreach Pilot Program
The following statement was released after a joint press conference with City, County, and community leaders to announce Connect Hillcrest, a new community-driven, civic initiative dedicated to providing coordinated and concentrated street outreach services to individuals experiencing homelessness in the impacted Hillcrest area.
Connect Hillcrest is an innovative program, employing a team of trained service professionals, each empowered with their own skill-set, designed to build relationships and move homeless individuals into a stable, permanent housing situation.
“Connect Hillcrest is a model, collaborative initiative that is actively working to address homelessness. It’s my hope that the knowledge gained from this program will give local government and service providers the data needed to improve upon current homelessness outreach protocols while expanding services to other impacted communities across our region,” said Councilmember Ward.
“Today is a new day,” said County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher. “The County and City are now standing together and working as partners. Through the Connect Hillcrest pilot, we are working collaboratively, and with our community partners, to connect people experiencing homelessness with resources that put them on a path to a healthier, more stable life. I believe this effort has the potential to yield encouraging results and am excited to get it started.”
Launching Connect Hillcrest was only possible due to the dedication and persistence of a diverse group of non-profits and local government agencies including the County of San Diego, the San Diego Housing Commission, the San Diego Police Department, Alpha Project, Father Joe’s Villages, Veterans Village San Diego, the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, and PATH San Diego.
“Connect Hillcrest is an important step forward in the collaborative efforts to coordinate outreach to San Diegans experiencing homelessness. The San Diego Housing Commission is pleased to be a partner in this initiative to address one of the major gaps in the City’s community-wide homeless crisis response system and more effectively connect with individuals and families living on City streets,” said SDHC Senior Vice President of Homeless Housing Innovations Lisa Jones.
This program will hopefully build on a region-wide shift towards a more focused, results-driven approach that prioritizes coordinated and persistent methods in order to deliver services to the people that truly need them.
“Through Live Well San Diego, all of us, including our most vulnerable, deserve the opportunity to lead a quality life,” said Nick Macchione, director of the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency. “Connect Hillcrest will allow our talented and compassionate eligibility, public health, homeless services and behavioral health workers to focus on a single community, while also bringing us the opportunity to develop data that may prove valuable for how we better help in the future.”
There are approximately 4,990 unsheltered individuals in crisis, struggling with homelessness in San Diego County. By adopting nationally recognized best-practices of coordinated and persistent outreach, our region can expand the level of outreach necessary to overcome barriers to accessible housing and service opportunities.
Matt Ramon, Co-Owner of MOs Universe, said: “Hillcrest is a vibrant, dynamic community and one of San Diego’s busiest core neighborhoods. Hillcrest business owners are excited to support this program and look forward to seeing the results.”
Connect Hillcrest is part of a larger effort to improve outreach methods and protect the rights of those in crisis on our streets while effectively responding to the needs and safety concerns of the communities we serve.
Connect Hillcrest is an exciting initiative and the Regional Task Force on the Homeless will be closely following its progress while looking for opportunities to expand its successes to other impacted communities in the San Diego region, “said Tamera Kohler, Chief Executive Officer of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless.