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Homelessness Solutions

The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) is a leading partner in addressing homelessness in the City of San Diego.

Collaboration among SDHC, the City of San Diego, County of San Diego, Regional Task Force on the Homeless, developers, landlords, service providers and additional partners is essential to identifying solutions to homelessness.

One of the strategic priorities identified in SDHC’s Strategic Plan is, “Advancing Homelessness Solutions – Supporting the City of San Diego Community Action Plan on Homelessness.”

SDHC’s homelessness action plan, HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, has created more than 9,000 housing solutions in less than seven years for San Diegans experiencing homelessness, with more than 600 additional housing units pending completion.

SDHC also administers the City of San Diego’s Homeless Shelters and Services Programs that provide temporary shelter and supportive services to some of the City’s most vulnerable residents.

In addition, SDHC is the lead organizer for Project Homeless Connect – Downtown San Diego, a one-day resource fair that connects individuals with services that address many of their immediate and longer-term homelessness needs. Major organizing partners are the City of San Diego, Father Joe’s Villages, Interfaith Shelter Network, and Family Health Centers of San Diego.


Homelessness Program for Engaged Educational Resources (PEER)

A first-of-its kind collaboration between the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) and San Diego City College, the Homelessness PEER course provides specialized education, training and job placement assistance to develop the workforce needed for programs and services that help San Diegans experiencing homelessness.

As a leader in collaborative efforts to address homelessness in the City of San Diego, SDHC identified the need for additional qualified applicants for positions in the area of homelessness programs and services.

The five foundational strategies in the City of San Diego Community Action Plan on Homelessness also guide this program, primarily to create a client-centered homeless assistance system; implement a systems-level approach to homelessness planning; and improve the performance of the existing system.

This course builds upon established San Diego City College certificate programs in mental health work, alcohol and other drug studies, gerontology, and the Associate of Arts Degree in Behavioral Health: Social Work. Students in these programs are the focus of City College outreach efforts to identify students for the new course.

SDHC funds the PEER program, while San Diego City College leverages existing San Diego Community College District resources.

Federal Rental Assistance

SDHC has committed more than 3,600 federal rental housing vouchers to address homelessness in the City of San Diego. These include the housing vouchers awarded as part of HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, SDHC’s homelessness action plan.

Guardian Scholars

The Guardian Scholars Program provides rental assistance for up to 100 San Diego State University Students who had been homeless or at risk of homelessness, including youth aging out of foster care, under legal guardianship or wards of the state. Participants must be full-time students and meet academic and program standards to receive assistance under this initiative.

Guardian Scholars is part of HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO and is one of SDHC’s Moving to Work initiatives.

The Monarch School Project

SDHC partners with the Monarch School to provide rental housing vouchers for up to 25 families who have at least one child enrolled at the Monarch School, one of the few schools in the nation that specifically serves children experiencing homelessness.

The Monarch School Project is part of HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO and is one of SDHC’s Moving to Work initiatives.

SDHC Moving On

The SDHC Moving On program is a partnership with the County of San Diego Behavioral Health Services Division that provides rental housing vouchers for up to 50 formerly homeless households who are ready to transition out of permanent supportive housing, but still need rental assistance.

SDHC Moving On is part of HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, and is one of SDHC’s Moving to Work initiatives.

Project-Based Housing Vouchers

Project-Based Housing Vouchers are awarded to specific affordable housing developments to provide rental assistance linked to their units. When a tenant moves on, the rental housing voucher remains with the affordable housing unit to help another San Diegan experiencing homelessness to move off the streets.

Sponsor-Based Housing Vouchers

SDHC awards Sponsor-Based Housing Vouchers through a competitive bidding process to nonprofit or for-profit organizations, or “sponsors,” to provide rental assistance to San Diegans experiencing homelessness, who also receive supportive services.

Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Vouchers

SDHC partners with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide rental assistance to chronically homeless Veterans through Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers.

The VA San Diego Healthcare System provides clinical health and case management services to VASH participants.

Transitional Project-Based Rental Housing Vouchers

SDHC partners with nonprofit and for-profit organizations that operate transitional housing for San Diegans experiencing homelessness. SDHC provides a standard rental assistance amount to support the transitional housing program, which combines housing with supportive services.

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