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County sweetens deal, offers services to cities that open homeless shelters



Any San Diego County city that opens a new homeless shelter will be provided with various county-funded services under a memorandum of understanding proposed Monday.

In the MOA proposed to all 18 cities in the county, Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher said new shelters will be provided with county behavioral health services, public health education, communicable disease screening tools and a human services specialist to help homeless people obtain benefits and resources for food, funding and health care.

As an incentive to those cities, Fletcher said a proposed $10 million grant program to help fund new shelters will go before the Board of Supervisors for ratification May 24. The one-time grant funding would help cities open shelters, safe camping sites, tiny homes or other programs that would get people off the street.

“As we award those grants, we will be looking for what cities can move fast,” Fletcher said about how funding will be determined. “Who can quickly get things up and running. Who can get people off the street and get them the help and services they need.”

Fletcher said priority for the funding will go for shelters that can be up and running in months rather than years.

“My messages to the mayors and managers this morning was, ‘Start getting your ideas, start getting your parcels of land and what you might do there,’” he said.

The memorandum of agreement was presented to city leaders Monday during a Regional Task Force on Homelessness’ intergovernmental roundtable. The virtual meeting was attended by representatives of all county cities except Coronado, Encinitas, Poway and Imperial Beach.

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