City Council approves acquisition of region’s first Housing Navigation Center

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s push to create a universal entry point where homeless individuals can access supportive services to help them transition to permanent housing took a major step forward today with City Council approval of acquiring a downtown site for the region’s first Housing Navigation Center.

The City Council’s decision clears the way for the Housing Navigation Center to open as earlier as this spring – the latest in a series of actions taken by City leaders to address the homeless crisis.

The Housing Navigation Center will serve as a one-stop shop where homeless individuals can be connected to the most appropriate supportive services and housing solutions based on their specific circumstances. It will help people access the region’s Coordinated Entry System and serve as a hub for the core services that people need to get off of the streets, back on their feet and into permanent housing.

“We’re taking decisive action to fix one of the biggest flaws in our regional care network: the lack of a universal starting point where those struggling with homelessness can go and get help,” Mayor Faulconer said. “The Housing Navigation Centers solves that problem by creating a one-stop shop for homeless services. This will advance our ‘Connect, Support, House’ strategy to reduce homelessness with a place where people can connect to our care network, get the support they need and receive help to find a home. This is how we will reduce homelessness in San Diego.”

The Housing Navigation Center will be located in a three-story, 26,500-square-foot building at 1401 Imperial Avenue. This will be a place where individuals experiencing homelessness or those at risk of becoming homeless can access traditional benefits that are important to addressing issues affecting a person’s housing stability.

“This navigation center is a critical step forward to provide a centralized hub for homeless individuals to connect with the services they need no matter what situation they find themselves in,” said City Councilmember Chris Ward. “I appreciate the support of my council colleagues to move ahead on this facility which will more effectively use our limited homeless resources to achieve better results on the streets, and I look forward to working alongside them to identify additional opportunities throughout the city to further expand the services we can provide.”

The exact services available at the Housing Navigation Center will be determined by the operator once selected. However, it could be home or a satellite space for the following entities and services:
• Homeless Services Providers
• Social Security Office
• County Health and Human Services
• Veterans Affairs
• Community Health Clinics
• Homeless Outreach Ambassadors
• Department of Motor Vehicles
• Job Training and Career Services

An operator will be selected in March and the Housing Navigation Center is expected to be operational by this spring. The sale price for the property is $7 million. In addition, the City will be contributing $1.5 million annually for operations over the next five years.

KUSI’s Ed Lenderman was there with more information.

Categories: Local San Diego News