City Council approves state funding to house people living in encampments

City secures $2.45M to help unsheltered residents in East Village

SAN DIEGO – Working to expand pathways to move San Diegans off the streets and into housing, the City Council on Monday, January 30 authorized the expenditure of a $2.45 million grant awarded to the City of San Diego to help end people’s homelessness in East Village.

San Diego was one of eight communities across the state last October to be awarded a portion of $48 million in Encampment Resolution Funding (ERF). Nineteen other communities received ERF grant funds in the first round in early 2022.

“We know what ends homelessness: outreach, shelter, housing,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “This infusion of state dollars will help us address homeless encampments in a part of Downtown where they have had a major impact on quality of life. I look forward to seeing positive results, both for the community and those experiencing homelessness.”

The ERF program is a competitive grant that aims to assist local jurisdictions in ensuring the safety and wellness of people experiencing homelessness in encampments; resolve critical encampment concerns and transition individuals into safe and stable housing; and encourage a data-informed, coordinated approach.

As part of the grant application process, the City of San Diego identified an area, including the blocks surrounding the Old Downtown Central Library with a heavy concentration of encampments: Broadway to F St., and 7th to 10th Ave. in East Village. The encampments include approximately 50 single adults, with more than half being African American and/or over age 55.

“With City Council’s approval, we are excited to accept this grant funding and put it to use,” said Hafsa Kaka, Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department Director. “The City’s Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department will be working diligently with our outreach teams to deliver a focused approach to move people from East Village encampments into a safe environment with intensive supportive services.”

This grant will focus efforts on placing clients into long-term permanent supportive housing (PSH) through the Coordinated Entry System. If long-term housing is not available for a particular client, this grant will help subsidize shorter-term bridge housing, such as independent living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, placements with family and CalAIM-supported housing. When referrals to PSH are identified, the program will use hotel rooms as temporary housing placements to help support individuals’ independent living skills.

The announcement follows the opening of a 36-bed shelter for women at the Old Central Library last week. The shelter is just one of many to open in the past year, including a 150-bed Rosecrans Shelter, a 33-room Seniors Landing bridge shelter and an 11-room, 22-bed Safe Haven for unsheltered residents who struggle with substance abuse.

(City of San Diego Release)

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