San Diego County approves $10M to help cities address homelessness
The San Diego Board of Supervisors voted in favor of a $10 million in one-time grants to help the region combat homelessness and access a state program helping homeless youth.
The Board of Supervisors' 4-0 vote comes after the Regional Task Force on Homelessness released its 2022 WeAllCounty Point-in-Time Count, which found at minimum, 8,427 people in the region are experiencing homelessness. Volunteers collected the one-day snapshot of this minimum number in early February. The data showed a 10 percent increase in the homeless population throughout the region since 2020.
Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher said Tuesday's action “is a continuation of our commitment to work with other regional leaders to make progress on the most pressing issues our community is facing. We're in the fight, and we're not backing down.''
The grants may support the city jurisdictions in kick-starting new projects that result in long-term and sustainable overnight shelter solutions, including but not limited to emergency shelters, safe parking lots, sleeping cabins, tiny homes, or expanded capacity of an existing emergency shelter.
The county expects the program to open within the next couple of weeks. Eligible jurisdictions will receive notification of the application window opening.
According to Fletcher's office, applicants must follow these
-- a municipality may submit multiple projects, but each will be evaluated on an independent basis;
-- award notification should be announced 30 days after the application period closes;
-- applications will be accepted during a 30-day period.
-- additional application periods will be opened until all the funds are spent; and
-- projects with the earliest operational date will be considered first.
The HHAP funds will cover:
-- Housing Our Youth, an integrated care coordination program designed to provide homeless youth with immediate housing and wraparound support, which officials say has served 267 young people, and permanently housed 108 of them, as of March 2022;
-- Community Harm Reduction Teams, which focuses on San Diego's Midway and East Village neighborhoods and homeless residents suffering from substance use and related mental health issues by connecting them with behavioral health services, temporary shelter, permanent housing, and other services; and
-- Community Harm Reduction Safe Haven, a collaborative effort with
the city of San Diego to provide transitional housing based on harm-reduction principles and offer behavioral health support.