Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 - NEWS RELEASE
San Diego - With the goal of helping more homeless individuals and veterans transition off the streets, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and City Councilmember Todd Gloria today announced the City's recently opened year-round indoor permanent housing program is on track to help more homeless individuals than ever before. The City program is a partnership with Father Joe's Villages and the San Diego Housing Commission, and replaced the need to erect temporary outdoor tents in the winter.
Standing outside the 350-bed facility, located at Father Joe's Villages' campus near downtown San Diego, Faulconer and Gloria also announced that an additional 250 individuals would be sheltered when extreme cold weather conditions strike. The dining room at Father Joe's Villages will shelter 200 homeless San Diegans while another 50 individuals would be sheltered at the City's Neil Good Day Center.
"Everyone deserves a roof over their head and the opportunity for a better life, and that's what we're providing now on a year-round basis," Mayor Faulconer said. "These successes are a direct result of the City's new strategy of focusing on programs that actually end the cycle of homelessness. We're helping more homeless individuals than ever before, evidence that this new approach is a game-changer."
Councilmember Gloria said, "As Chair of the Regional Continuum Care Council, I am proud of the work we have done to transition the City's homeless efforts to a housing first approach. As seen through the interim housing program and the inclement weather plan, we are making significant progress working collaboratively as a community to address the immediate needs of our most vulnerable neighbors, while supporting long-term solutions to permanently end the cycle of homelessness."
The City's year-round indoor housing program is already making a difference:
- Twice as many homeless transitioning into long-term housing: The successful transition of residents to longer-term housing has doubled - from 26 percent to 52 percent - compared to the temporary tents.
- Hundreds more homeless to be helped: On pace to assist more than 2,700 individuals this fiscal year - far outpacing the 1,300 individuals served by the temporary tents.
- More beds available throughout the year: An increase of 73,850 bed nights compared to the temporary tents for a projected 127,750 total bed nights on an annual basis.
- Increased focus on services to end the cycle of homelessness: Demonstrated improvement in self-sufficiency for 95 percent of residents using case management services.
- Cost savings for taxpayers: Significantly lowers taxpayers' costs for each bed night from $29.10 to $13.78, compared to the temporary tents.
Earlier this year, the City Council unanimously approved Mayor Faulconer's plan to spend nearly $1.9 million annually on an interim housing program to provide year-round care operated by Father Joe's Villages at its Paul Mirabile Center, located at 1501 Imperial Ave.
The program provides 350 beds - up to 40 percent set aside for veterans - for homeless individuals on a nightly basis. The facility also provides three meals each day, 24-hour residential and security service, and supportive programs to stabilize lives.
The program began in early April with 100 beds as the City transitioned away from the temporary tents and then expanded to 350 beds when the fiscal year began July 1.
"Without the leadership of Mayor Faulconer and Councilmembers Gloria and David Alvarez, the transition from tents to a permanent, year-round facility with enhanced services for homeless San Diegans would not have been possible, as evidenced by the City's 28-year history of temporary shelter tent programs," said Richard C. Gentry, President & CEO of the San Diego Housing Commission.
Since 2010, the San Diego Housing Commission has administered the City's Emergency Adult Shelter Programs.
"Here at Father Joe's, our aim was simple: Use the resources at hand to get more people off the streets," said Deacon Jim Vargas, President and CEO of Father Joe's Villages. "Through the City's interim shelter program, we offer more total bed nights, provide more services, and move more people into longer-term housing, and all of this without one additional dollar from the taxpayers."
One of the benefits of placing the 350 beds at the Paul Mirabile Center is that it freed up federal funding for Father Joe's Villages to use for a Rapid Re-Housing program, which helps homeless families with supportive serves and short-term rental assistance, such as security deposits and rent subsidies. That program is expected to start in the next few weeks.
Combined, the Rapid Re-Housing Program and the year-round indoor housing program are expected to bring the total number of bed nights to more than 194,180 - a nearly 14,000 increase compared to when the temporary tents were in use.
CONTACT: Craig Gustafson at (619) 453-9880 or [email protected]