Outreach efforts link East County homeless to services and housing
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The number of people living on the street is going up not just in the City of San Diego, but also in the East County.
Once a year, the organizations and agencies that help those who are unsheltered gather together in one location, with a goal of reaching out to more of the homeless men and women in East County. Project Homeless Connect East County this year brought more than 35 organizations to the Rock Church in El Cajon Friday.
Volunteers welcomed people who wanted a haircut, a shower, a change of clothing or medical attention.
Government agencies like the Social Security Administration and the California Department of Motor Vehicles had representatives on hand to help people with processing identification cards. There were also organizations and service providers to assist with legal issues, addiction treatment, counseling and employment. This annual event, now in its sixth year is sponsored by a group called Crisis House.
The organization’s executive director, Mary Case said people can also go through an assessment for housing to identify options for temporary shelter and long-term housing.
“Right now, we’re able to take a client after an assessment right to a table that might have the best service matched to them. So, if they’re a veteran, they’ll see a veteran server. If they have an addiction issue, then they’ll see an addiction specialist that has housing options for them,” Case said.
According to the 2017 count of the homeless population in San Diego County, there was a 48% increase in the number of people without permanent shelter in El Cajon.
The chronically homeless are about a third of that total.