Port officials meet on homeless issue along bayfront - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Port officials meet on homeless issue along bayfront

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Port of San Diego staffers in a report to the Board of Commissioners Tuesday said they would work with social service providers and seek new ways of moving homeless people away from the bayfront.

Over the past year, the port has been working with the nonprofit Alpha Project to arrange services for people living on the port's tidelands. Most appear to be between the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum and Cesar Chavez Park, according to the staff report.

The next step would be to get involved with the Work Your Way Home program, in which homeless people are given a bus ticket to a relative's home.

The bus ticket program requires participants to agree to follow-up checks after three, six and nine months. The report says about 300 people have taken advantage of the program over the past two years, with only a few returning to the streets.

The Work Your Way Home program, which is run by the Downtown San Diego Partnership, also plans to set up more donation spots where people can donate money to help homeless people.

So far, port staffers said revenue from donation stations had been minimal, but the awareness they've created has resulted in increased giving elsewhere.

The Port District -- which includes Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego -- counted 943 people living along the tidelands in August. About half were contacted by the Alpha Project, and 138 males and 40 females agreed to go to shelters, the report says.

The commissioners took no action after hearing the report, and staffers said they would continue to research partnership programs.

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