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Outreach Drive Reducing Homeless Numbers on Downtown San Diego Streets

07/18/21

 

Almost 300 homeless people who had been living on downtown San Diego streets have been placed in shelters or received other services since the launch two weeks ago of an intense outreach program.

San Diego Housing Commission spokesman Scott Marshall said Friday that 282 people had entered shelters in the past two weeks, including a few who may have entered on their own without being contacted by an outreach worker.

City and county officials launched the outreach two weeks ago out of concerns that the growing number of tents packed tightly together on some sidewalks could lead to a deadly hepatitis A outbreak similar to one that occurred in 2017.

From 50 to 75 outreach workers from service providers, the San Diego Housing Commission, county offices and health care providers have participated in the effort from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday over the past two weeks. The outreach is scheduled to end next Friday, and teams are focused on the East Village, the Gaslamp Quarter and the City Center area.

Marshall said the outreach workers have reported 1,034 interactions with homeless people. Of those, 329 were met on the street by outreach workers and 705 people walked up to the staging location to ask for assistance. Some people might have been counted more than once if they walked up to the staging location numerous times, he said.

In the past two weeks, 170 homeless people have enrolled in case management, 129 were referred to County Behavioral Health Services for screenings, 114 applied for assistance through the County of San Diego Office of Homeless Solutions and 216 received services from County Public Health, including COVID-19 vaccinations, referrals to medical providers or health clinics and referrals to mental health services.

Father Joe’s Villages’ Street Health Program assisted 13 people, La Maestra Community Health Centers had 42 instances of services and San Ysidro Health had 132 instances of services.

Among the people who walked up to seek help, 19 were enrolled in a housing resource such as permanent supportive housing or rapid rehousing and 15 are pending referral to a housing resource. READ MORE