Ending homelessness in Southern California - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Ending homelessness in Southern California

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Southern California is a great place to live. Unfortunately there are thousands of people living on the streets. A non-profit organization is asking for your help to stamp out homelessness.

Connections Housing is a comprehensive service and residential community designed to reduce street homelessness and provide housing and services all in one location.

The PATH Family of Agencies serves as the lead service agency and building operator, and is the co-developer-owner of Connections Housing.

The 14-story facility provides 89 permanent apartments, 134 interim beds, a federally-qualified health center, and a one-stop multi-service center -- known as the PATH Depot -- which connects homeless individuals with critical supportive services.

It's making a tangible difference in the community by decreasing the number of people living on neighborhood streets, and permanently ending homelessness for many of the individuals we serve by focusing on permanent housing as a solution to ending homelessness.

Through the joint partnership of PATH and Alpha Project, 463 homeless individuals were served through interim housing, and more than 60 percent of those who exited went on to permanent or longer-term housing.

Since Connections Housing opened, 89 people who were living on the streets are now living in the residential apartments.

There are 30 agencies and services provided through the PATH Depot each month, and Family Health Centers of San Diego has provided more than 4,000 medical and mental health visits.

A local group of volunteers called Urban Angels is providing meals for residents living in the building, and the Downtown Fellowship of Churches and Ministries set up an on-site volunteer program.

Two years ago, 246 people lived on the streets in the neighborhood around Connections Housing; there are now approximately 50 people living on the streets in this neighborhood.

Collaboration among public and private groups has been the foundation of Connections Housing's success – the community can get involved my lending time, money or resources.

To make a donation or learn about volunteer opportunities, email SDVolunteer@ePath.org.

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