SAN DIEGO– The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an assessment of county homeless services.

Chairwoman Nora Vargas proposed the assessment, to find out what is working and what is not with homeless services and programs.

“I think it’s really important to take a look inward,” said San Diego County Supervisor Chairwoman, Nora Vargas.

The assessment will also include a review of the county’s collaboration on homeless programs with all 18 city partners.

“So, good to see we are all thinking in the same direction,” said San Diego County Supervisor Tara Lawson-Remer.

Transparency and accountability were motivating factors for Chairwoman Vargas when she first proposed the assessment.

The passed vote allows the Chief Administrative Officer to find a consultant to conduct the enterprise-wide assessment.

When preparing the proposal Vargas said it “was really about thinking about how do we create an extensive approach of addressing really what are the critical needs of homelessness, and how do we really think about this from a big picture.”

Vargas said the analysis will identify gaps within the system and then provide recommendations.

“And we are figuring out what the next steps are. What do we stop doing, what can we do better, how can we continue to engage,” Vargas said.

Vargas said one of the main goals of the analysis is to outline better use of resources and support for the unsheltered population.

“This assessment demonstrates our Board’s dedication to addressing the root cause of homelessness. In order to solve the problem, we have to understand where we are, and what is working and what isn’t. Today’s action is an important step forward as we come together to improve services and outcomes for the unhoused in San Diego,” Vargas said.

The approval of the assessment comes as he most recent Point in Time Count identified 10,264 individuals as living on the streets or in shelters throughout San Diego County

“I’m just really want to make sure we have a really, really good understanding of what programs are making a difference and where we are getting a return on investment and all of that. So big picture I think this is great,” Lawson-Remer said.

Now that the Board has approved the item, the County Administration Office will take over. Once they have chosen a contractor, that contractor has 6 months to return results.

Costs associated with conducting this assessment through a contractor are currently unknown, and additional research is required to determine associated costs. There is currently no identified funding to support this assessment.