SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Mayor Faulconer joined Thursday morning's outreach effort in the East Village neighborhood where there is a large concentration of homeless men and women.

Outreach is the key first step of the City's "Connect, Support, House"  strategy to reduce homelessness.

The first four weeks of the expanded outreach campaign has resulted in nearly 800 contacts that led to 219 people receiving assistance and 22 individuals placed in either a shelter bed or housing. It also resulted in 87 felony arrests, including 48 for selling drugs, as police officers have emphasized enforcement on drug dealers and gang members who prey on the vulnerable homeless population.

The parking lot at 13th Street and Imperial Avenue served as a staging area where homeless service providers will be available to assist individuals with medical issues, missing government identification, applying for benefits, etc. Experts helped identify housing opportunities and available shelter beds for those in need.

Outreach teams, consisting of about four professionals and one police officer , fanned out across the East Village to greet homeless individuals on the street and inform them of the services available to them.

Those who accepted help were brought back to the staging area and service providers attended to their needs.