SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - As part of the "Connect, Support, House" strategy to reduce homelessness, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer kicked off a daylong effort Thursday to connect homeless individuals living in downtown's East Village neighborhood with the supportive services they need to get their lives back on track.

The Tailgate parking lot will serve as a hub where homeless service providers will be available to assist individuals with medical issues, missing government identification, applying for benefits, etc. In addition, experts will be available to help identify housing opportunities and available shelter beds.

Outreach teams, consisting of about four professionals and one police officer, will then fan out across East Village to greet homeless individuals on the street and inform them of the services available to them right now. Those who accept help will be brought back to the Tailgate lot and service providers will attend to their needs.

Thursday's outreach effort is being coordinated by the San Diego Police Department's new Neighborhood Policing Division. It is one of a string of similar events put on by SDPD that complements the work the Neighborhood Policing Division does in collaboration with homeless outreach workers to connect individuals experiencing homelessness with services and opportunities in lieu of immediate enforcement actions. 

“Connect Support House”: Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer's Strategy to Address Homelessness:

CONNECT: Linking people to regional care network, providing stability and relief through shelters and programs as the first step toward permanent housing.

  • Bridge Shelters – Three shelters that can serve up to 700 individuals per day with beds and supportive services, including housing navigators to help individuals find permanent homes.
  • Safe Parking Zones – Two areas with capacity for 120 cars that provide individuals and families temporarily living in their cars with a safe and secure place to park at night.
  • Shelter Beds – More than 2,000 shelter beds exist to provide temporary relief.

SUPPORT: Providing access to services, job training, mental health care, addiction counseling, and housing navigators to help homeless individuals find a permanent home.

  • Outreach Ambassadors – Added 15 outreach ambassadors to the network of non-uniformed professionals trained to walk the streets and build relationships with homeless individuals.
  • Storage Center (Spring 2018) – New facility at 20th and Commercial streets for homeless individuals to safely store their belongings while they access services, attend school, interview for a job or go to work.
  • Housing Navigation Center (Ahead of Schedule; Opening 2018) – The region’s first comprehensive homeless facility at 14th Street and Imperial Avenue will be the anchor to San Diego’s care network and the starting point for individuals to access a variety of services all under one roof.

HOUSE: Creating more opportunities to end the cycle of homelessness through permanent housing.

  • Landlord Partnerships – The successful Housing Our Heroes program, which has helped over 1,000 homeless veterans find housing through partnerships with local landlords, has been expanded to all homelessness men and women with enough funding to house 3,000 individuals.
  • Renovating Housing Inventory – Repurposing existing transitional housing inventory into Permanent Supportive Housing, Rapid Re-Housing or Bridge Housing units.
  • Family Reunification Program – Providing assistance to individuals who wish to reconnect with loved ones in another part of the state or county.
  • Homeless Prevention and Diversion Program – Assisting individuals and families who are at-risk of becoming homeless to identify housing options before they enter the shelter system.?
  • Permanent Supportive Housing – Working to implement strategies that will add to San Diego’s permanent supportive housing supply.

For more information, visit www.sandiego.gov.