Regional Task Force: Homelessness has increased, but so have innovative programs
The San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless released its annual analysis of San Diego’s homeless population this morning—a 114-page report (too large to post, but you can download it here) that includes street and shelter counts for the entire county and demographic profiles of the region’s homeless population. Some highlights:
* The number of unsheltered homeless people in the San Diego region has increased by 16 percent in the last two years—from 3,856 in 2008 to 4,599 in 2010.
* Santee Mayor Randy Voepel’s gone on record as saying there are no homeless people in his city. Randy, you’re wrong: The RTF counted 15, up from 13 in 2008.
* In San Diego, City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer’s District 2 (Downtown, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach) has the highest homeless population, with 1,249 people unsheltered and 2,110 sheltered when the street count was conducted in January. Next highest was District 3 (Todd Gloria) with a street population of 208 and a sheltered population of 207 counted in the Uptown, City Heights and North Park areas. Sherri Lightner’s District 1 (La Jolla, Torrey Pines, University City) has the fewest—10 people living on the street (and no shelter beds).
* The task force tallied up the region’s unmet housing need for individuals and families:
But officials also highlighted progress that’s being made. Housing Commission Vice President Cissy Fisher described a “unity of purpose” that’s driving innovative programs like the United Way’s Project 25, the Downtown Partnership’s Homeless Registry and the proposed one-stop services / housing project that the umbrella group Connections Housing has planned for the former World Trade Center building. San Diego County’s also been chosen to pilot a new Veterans Administration program that seeks to get eradicate homelessness among vets within five years.