SAN DIEGO – San Diego County’s regional task force on homelessness has released a plan aimed at adding more than 800 shelter beds. It’s a broad and comprehensive strategy directed at the city of San Diego, north, east and south counties.
President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Task Force on Homelessness Tamera Kohler says it’s a step in the right direction.
“We’re establishing performance and population goals that we want to be able to not only make public but to measure ourselves to,” Kohler said.
It’s a five-year public plan calling for more than 9,000 places to stay with goals to end veteran, youth, senior and family homelessness.
“We’re saying for five years, let’s look at these goals, this amount of support, and really five years is looking at the population, family homelessness, senior homelessness, veterans. In five years, the landscape should look profoundly different, but if we’re following this plan, in a year it should look different,” Kohler told FOX 5.
For Drew Moser, executive director of the Lucky Duck Foundation, an organization that recently called upon Mayor Todd Gloria for meaningful and aggressive action, it’s a step forward.
“At a very first high-level look, this appears to be a very effective plan and we think there’s credible leadership to the Regional Task Force on Homelessness that’s going to help unify the region’s approach,” Moser said.
The task force also laid out gaps in resources throughout the county, noting the lack of emergency shelter beds. Kohler says 850 to 1,290 beds are needed. As for rapid re-housing, otherwise known as short-term help or assistance, solutions call for 11,774 places to stay.
Homeless advocate Chris Megison, president of Solutions for Change in Vista, says this plan ignores the real issue at hand.
“They think by putting people behind doors that this is going to solve the problem…They’re looking at the problem as just housing, and not looking at the deeper underlying causations of why the person got homeless,” Megison said.
“We are not saying that things will get better overnight, but they only get better if you plan in a purposeful way, measure it and dedicate our time and resources to it, it will have an impact,” Kohler said.