Push for solutions to homelessness in Oceanside - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Push for solutions to homelessness in Oceanside

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OCEANSIDE (CBS 8) - The iconic Oceanside Pier attracts locals, visitors and homeless, but rather than turning their back on the homeless, residents on Monday came together to push for solutions.

Before he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and OCD, Daniel Kasperick was homeless. "I lived on the streets. I ate out of dumpsters. I walked around naked. the homeless people are people too and they deserve consideration and support," he said.

According to Margery Pierce, the city's Neighborhood Services director, Oceanside had a 1.6-percent vacancy rate, but had 10,000 first-time homeless individuals.

"You can't solve homelessness if you do not have housing," she said.

Executive Director for Interfaith Community Services, Greg Anglea, said funding to transition from the streets to housing to living can be difficult. "Housing is a critical first step, but it can never be the last step."

Mental health workers said a majority of their clients were forced to live on the streets because of the lack of services.

"They are currently not able to work. They are not well enough to do so. They do not have income to live, so where are they suppose to be?," asked Serena Goldsmith, North Coastal Mental Health.

The Interfaith Community Services director said it is looking at an intervention center for the homeless, but the challenge has been finding a site.

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