ESCONDIDO, Calif. — The City of Escondido has changed which community organization is benefiting from its Community Develop Block Grant (CDBG).
For the last decade, Interfaith Community Services’ shelter Haven House has received about $50,000 a year from this grant.
Now, the CDBG funding goes through the city’s recently-created Homelessness Ad Hoc Subcommittee. Mayor of Escondido Dane White said the change was made to help other agencies, who have not yet received funding from the City of Escondido.
Mayor White said this year’s CDBG funding is going to Project Next, formerly known as the San Marcos Promise and the Alabaster Jar Project, which helps women who have victimized by human trafficking.
It’s a move that shocked leaders with the shelter, but they are making adjustments to continue helping the community.
Interfaith Community Services is a nonprofit that provides housing, food, employment and treatment. One of its shelters, Haven House, can house 49 people.
“The city provided about $50,000 of funding most years to support our Haven House shelter in Escondido,” Greg Anglea, CEO Interfaith Community Services, said in an interview to FOX 5 Tuesday.
“We were surprised and we’re disappointed because our shelter is the only shelter serving the entire unsheltered population in Escondido,” Anglea said. “So individuals regardless of their conditions or their situation are eligible to come into our shelter, no other program exists like that here in Escondido.”
“It’s one of the best and worst decisions you can make you know, you’ve got 20 qualified applicants all asking for a pretty significant amount of money and to decide on 1,2, or 3 organizations that should get it is challenging,” White said.
The mayor said Interfaith was the recipient of an additional $400,000, in addition to the CDBG funds in 2022.
The city’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is meant to:
- Benefit low- and moderate-income persons
- Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight
- Meet other community development needs that present a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community”
Escondido has the highest homeless population in the North County, with about 499 people experiencing homelessness — 182 of those are unsheltered, according to the latest point-in-time count.
The nonprofit’s CEO said they are now adjusting, and moving the 49 people who are currently at Haven House, to their recently-opened Facility, the Turk Recuperative Care Center. That facility has 106 beds, but some are already full. Anglea said this is a temporary, about six-to-12-month long solution as they explore a long-term solution. He said this is part of a trend of less funding for this type of homeless shelter.
“Long term if we cant find sustainable funding, then we are looking at a potential loss of 49 beds in the community,” Anglea said. “The city’s decision is just one of many funding reductions, so while we look forward to the city’s support on this project and others, their decision to remove that funding is not the sole reason we are making these changes.”
Haven House will be making the move to Turk, sometime this month, but specifics are still being finalized.