April 19, 2024
A homeless encampment on the San Diego River. Courtesy of town

The town of San Diego will conduct extra cleanup and outreach to homeless folks residing in encampments alongside the San Diego River underneath a plan accepted by the Metropolis Council Tuesday and funded by a $3.6 million state grant.

The town will use the grant, which awarded final June, to pay for the duty “as a part of an ongoing effort to deliver folks experiencing homelessness off the road and join them to supportive providers and housing,” in response to a metropolis assertion.

In line with town’s Homelessness Methods and Options Division, it’s going to spend roughly $950,000 on contracted outreach groups, $1.3 million for rental subsidies and $1.2 million for case administration and housing navigation providers.

The grant is a part of the state’s Encampment Decision Funding Program, and it’ll assist cowl the prices of rental housing, supportive providers and outreach efforts.

Proponents mentioned outreach staff will use “a person-centered, compassionate method” and provide providers tailor-made to folks’s particular wants, together with case administration, well being schooling, public advantages, psychological well being and substance abuse remedy, and first care referrals.

Homeless folks will even have entry to primary necessities, hygiene kits and transportation, town mentioned.

The town beforehand obtained two ERF grants, with one used to cope with encampments close to a portion of Interstate 15 within the Metropolis Heights neighborhood, and the second centered alongside a portion of E Avenue within the East Village neighborhood.

Earlier than the vote, council President Sean Elo-Rivera mentioned such packages can “in the end tilt the steadiness” of these going through homelessness, and slowly however certainly end in fewer encampments.

In an announcement, Elo-Rivera mentioned as a result of homelessness is a humanitarian disaster, town “should aggressively pursue the sources” to successfully handle it.

“I’m grateful for our partnership with Homelessness Methods and Options Division to win state funding that may alleviate the struggling of these with out properties and relieve neighborhoods from the well being and questions of safety that may come up from encampments,” he mentioned. “This funding will help long- time period options utilizing a data-driven, persistent and compassionate method to in the end join neighbors with properties.”

State funding has been instrumental in ongoing efforts to get folks off the streets and into care, Mayor Todd Gloria mentioned.

“By clearing unsafe encampments alongside our river and connecting residents to housing, we’re not solely bettering public well being and security, but in addition fostering a way of dignity and stability for these in want,” he mentioned in an announcement.

The funding supplied to town was a part of an total $17 million grant additionally awarded to San Diego County, town of Santee and Caltrans.

The general state funding for the county, San Diego and Santee governments will assist 168 folks transfer into everlasting or long-term housing, officers mentioned.