FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 19, 2021
SAN DIEGO – In keeping with his commitment to address homelessness in with a compassionate, person-centered approach, Mayor Todd Gloria today detailed the more than $10 million in investments his proposed budget makes toward programs that put unsheltered San Diegans on a path to permanent housing, as well as funding to support a new Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department
“Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis, and ending it is my top priority,” Mayor Gloria said. “My budget invests in programs that lead directly to moving our vulnerable neighbors off the streets and into care, shelter and, ultimately, stable homes. It’s time we begin to match the severity of the emergency with the strategies necessary to meaningfully confront it.”
Mayor Gloria’s proposed investments include:
- $1.35 million to expand substance use disorder treatment programs and add approximately 65 new short-term detoxification beds.
- $6.3 million to add up to 300 interim shelter beds at new sites to get more people off the streets.
- $1 million to expand the People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) Coordinated Street Outreach Program, which uses a person-centered, neighborhood-based approach to cultivating trusting relationships with unsheltered residents and connecting them to housing and services.
- $1 million to expand rapid-rehousing programs to serve an additional 100 households, including rental assistance and case management.
- $300,000 to expand workforce training programs needed to bring more people into a career in providing homelessness services, such as the Homelessness Program for Engaged Educational Resources (PEER) course, a first-of-its kind collaboration between the San Diego Housing Commission and San Diego City College.
- Establishment of a new Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department and will initiate a national search for a director to lead it. In addition to the director, the new department will include three new senior-level positions, to bolster the existing positions in the current office.
Taken together, these actions help the City make significant progress on strategies laid out in the Community Action Plan on Homelessness.
The roughly $10 million the Mayor is proposing to allocate to homelessness programs would come from federal American Rescue Plan. The federal legislation also includes considerable investments in housing stability, including $21.5 billion nationwide for rental assistance through 2025 and $5 billion for emergency housing vouchers through 2030. The City of San Diego also anticipates it will receive approximately $21 million in ARP funding to fight homelessness this year and will soon be issuing a $30-million Notice of Funding Availability for affordable housing projects.
At the state level, Project Homekey is expected to provide at least $750 million statewide for the purchase of hotels, motels, apartments, and other buildings to provide permanent homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The City drew nearly $38 million from the first round of Project Homekey funding in 2020 to purchase two extended-stay hotels, in Mission Valley and Kearny Mesa, which provided 332 fully furnished apartments along with supportive services.
Mayor Gloria is also part of the Big City Mayor coalition that is advocating to maximize the state’s investment in homelessness, recently calling for an allocation of $16 billion over four years.
The actions in Mayor Gloria’s proposed budget come on the heels of several developments the Mayor has recently announced, including:
- making the City’s street-cleanup policies more compassionate and responsive to the needs of San Diego’s unsheltered population,
- launching the more person-centered Coordinated Street Outreach Program,
- relocating residents of the San Diego Convention Center to the City’s shelter system without sending anyone back to the streets,
- investing more than $500,000 in shelter and supportive services for people between the ages of 18 and 24 who are experiencing homelessness,
- supporting the validation of Measure C, the November 2020 ballot measure that would provide an ongoing source of funding to fight homelessness,
- preventing additional homelessness by extending a moratorium on evictions of San Diego renters struggling financially from the effects of COVID-19,
- creating the $83-million Housing Stability Assistance Program to help tenants struggling from COVID-19 pay back rent and utility bills.