Monday, December 9, 2019 - NEWS RELEASE
San Diego – Delivering on his commitment to create a universal entry point for homeless services, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer today joined representatives with the San Diego Housing Commission, Family Health Centers of San Diego and homeless service providers to officially open the City of San Diego’s first Housing Navigation Center.
Designed to be a one-stop shop for homeless services and resources, the Housing Navigation Center provides on-site intake, assessment and triage for people experiencing homelessness as well as assistance with crisis management, accessing benefits and finding housing.
“A flaw in our regional care network is that San Diego lacked a singular point for an individual to access an array of homeless services and start the journey to a better life,” Mayor Faulconer said. “The Housing Navigation Center will fill that void and serve as a model for other cities looking to implement innovative solutions to reduce homelessness and get people into housing.”
The Housing Navigation Center will also serve as an entry point for the Coordinated Entry System (CES) and coordinate with the Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH), among other partners, to assist clients in reaching their housing goals. The center will track how clients use the variety of services offered providing key insights into the needs of homeless individuals and allow data to drive the types of services and the frequency at which they are offered.
“The City’s Housing Navigation Center is an important part of the broader strategy to address homelessness in the City of San Diego. The San Diego Housing Commission is pleased to be partnering with the City of San Diego, Family Health Centers of San Diego, and the more than 20 organizations that will be providing services through the Housing Navigation Center,” said Casey Nguyen, San Diego Housing Commission Director of Housing First Administration.
The site will be operated by Family Health Centers of San Diego, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable, high-quality health care and support services, with an emphasis on the uninsured, low-income and medically underserved. Ahead of the opening, Family Health Centers:
- Completed recruitment of key positions including housing navigators, site staff and management.
- Conducted extensive outreach to engage unsheltered individuals in the surrounding community and utilized the City’s bridge shelter outreach teams to reach additional potential clients.
- Executed agreements with more than 25 providers to offer services and resources such as family reunification through the Downtown San Diego Partnership, job preparedness and training through the San Diego Workforce Partnership, veterans assistance, legal aid and more.
The Housing Navigation Center began welcoming clients on Dec. 2 and has already served hundreds of individuals in just one week.
The concept is based on the annual “Project Homeless Connect,” which puts providers of all types together in one place so that individuals can easily access resources that meet their needs. While those events are highly successful, they only occur a few days a year. The Housing Navigation Center will offer those services year-round, including those related to behavioral health.
“NAMI San Diego is excited to be a part of the Navigation Center providing outreach services to assist the center in guiding individuals experiencing homelessness with mental health concerns to the Connections 2 Community Clubhouse operated by NAMI San Diego. The clubhouse provides a structured member-driven environment for housing, employment, nutrition, group therapy, socialization, and a variety of other ancillary services including haircuts and veterinary care for those with pets. We are proud to be a part of the fabric of this community,” said Cathryn Nacario, Chief Executive Officer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness San Diego.
This is the latest initiative as part of Mayor Faulconer’s “Connect. Support. House.” strategy to reduce homelessness. Mayor Faulconer has led the largest expansion of homeless services in city history by opening four bridge shelters, expanding a safe parking program for individuals living out of their vehicles, adding storage capacity and standing up the Neighborhood Policing Division with homeless outreach teams to help address quality-of-life issues in neighborhoods.
For more information on the Housing Navigation Center visit: https://www.fhcsd.org/navigation-center-key-facts/.