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City’s First Housing Navigation Center Moves Forward

Downtown Facility Will Serve as Entry Point for Homeless Individuals to Access Supportive Services & Put Them on Path to Permanent Housing

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – As the next step in the City’s “Connect, Support, House” strategy to reduce homelessness, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer today won City Council approval for the City’s first Housing Navigation Center – a new facility where any homeless individual can find the supportive services and housing assistance they need under one roof.

Individuals currently face a patchwork of available homeless services across the region with various agencies at different locations that serve differing populations, such as veterans or families. This can improve impossible to navigate for those without income or transportation.

The Housing Navigation Center – which will be operated by Family Health Centers of San Diego (FHCSD) – removes those barriers by centralizing key resources to help them on their path to a permanent home.

“We need to make it as easy as possible for homeless individuals to access the services they need to turn their lives around,” Mayor Faulconer said. “We’ve seen the largest expansion of homeless services in city history over the past year with new bridge shelters, safe parking opportunities and a new storage facility. Every individual has a unique situation and we must provide a variety of approaches to truly help people. The Housing Navigation Center will play a key role in coordinating those services under one roof and help folks find the support they need.”

As operator, FHCSD will be coordinating and collaborating with other service providers and government agencies to streamline the way individuals experiencing homelessness access their services. With a focus on moving people into permanent housing, the Housing Navigation Center includes three key components:

  • Housing Placement. Housing Navigators and Specialists will match client needs and locate units or solutions in line with the national model of “Housing First.” Includes traditional and creative interventions, prevention, diversion, and family reunification, among other means.
  • Increased and Improved Outreach. The Housing Navigation Center will deploy mobile outreach teams throughout the city to bring homeless individuals into the regional care network. The center’s outreach workers will be empowered to connect individuals with the most suitable service provider, as the workers will not be tied to a particular program.
  • Centralized Services. The Housing Navigation Center breaks down silos to provide an array of services from multiple agencies under one roof.
    • It will be a safe and secure location where trained clinicians can administer thorough assessments not possible to perform in the field, along with immediate attention from a variety of agencies.
    • Case Managers will identify housing options and help clients chart their paths.
    • It will serve as a means for agencies to coordinate. The County will provide eligibility determinations and certifications for benefits and programs alongside state and federal partners.

“Councilmembers have also made it clear that we need more housing, and I couldn’t agree more,” Mayor Faulconer continued. “The City Council recently adopted a resolution to build more than a thousand permanent supportive housing units across the city. I am requesting that each of the nine City Council offices provide within the next 30 days a minimum of two locations within their council districts to build housing for homeless individuals.”

On Oct. 23, the City Council unanimously approved a resolution expressing its intent to build 140 permanent supportive housing units in each council district by 2021. However, the resolution did not provide specific locations or next steps to develop the projects.

For more than four decades, Family Health Centers of San Diego’s mission has been to provide affordable, high-quality health care and support services to all people, with a special commitment to the uninsured, low-income and medically underserved. FHCSD has an extensive history of working with homeless individuals, including its Healthcare for the Homeless program, which reduces barriers and increases access to quality health care to those experiencing homelessness. Clinics are often located near or within partner transitional housing programs, including organizations that focus on veterans and homeless youth and families.

The Housing Navigation Center will offer acute health care and behavioral health care services as well as refer clients to one of FHCSD’s many countywide clinics for additional needs.

The contract with FHCSD is for $1.5 million for the first year, with four optional annual renewals.

CONTACT: Greg Block at (619) 227-3752 or [email protected]

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