Help for San Diego’s homeless

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – More than 100 of downtown San Diego's most vulnerable
homeless identified in a survey last year have been provided with housing, and
homeless advocates say they are preparing to give the same assistance to
another 125.

In September 2010, volunteers counted more than 1,000 people living on
the streets downtown and got 737 to participate in the survey. Of those, more
than 300 were determined to need services the most because of health problems,
length of time without a home or other issues.

“Many were at risk of dying on the streets,” Mayor Jerry Sanders told

More than three-quarters of the homeless had mental health or substance
abuse issues, and 30 percent faced both, according to the survey results.

The San Diego Housing Commission has given 101 people vouchers to obtain
private housing, including 75 veterans, said commission CEO Rick Gentry.
Another 23 are receiving other services.

Jennifer LeSar, a consultant who specializes in homeless issues, said
work is under way to obtain funding to help another 125 to receive housing

She said officials plan a new survey in January to “freshen up the
list” of the transitory homeless population before selecting the most

In a couple of years, several housing complexes will be completed in
which about 300-400 units will be set aside for the homeless, she said.

The vouchers are paid for by the federal government, but officials at
the news conference said private donations — like a just-announced $20,000
gift from Wells Fargo — are welcomed.

Categories: KUSI