The City of San Diego (City) Community Action Plan on Homelessness is a comprehensive, 10-year plan that builds on recent progress, lays out short-term achievable goals and will serve as a guide for long-term success in addressing homelessness.
On October 14, 2019, the San Diego City Council unanimously approved the City’s Community Action Plan on Homelessness.
The plan recommended the creation of a Leadership Council to provide for cross-agency collaboration, alignment of resources toward systems-level thinking and accountability. The Leadership Council will review progress, problem-solve when challenges arise, identify funding and resources for implementation, and create an appropriate level of both accountability and insulation from political issues.
The Leadership Council, which met for the first time on February 3, 2020, consists of:
- City of San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer
- San Diego City Councilmember Chris Ward, Chair of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH)
- County of San Diego Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, Vice Chair of the RTFH
- San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) President & CEO Richard C. Gentry
- RTFH CEO Tamera Kohler
- Lucky Duck Foundation Board Member Peter Seidler, General Partner of the San Diego Padres
- Voices of Our City Choir Advocacy & Operations Director John Brady
- San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) Vice President of State Governmental Affairs and External Affairs Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell
The Leadership Council oversees the Interagency Implementation Team, which consists of members from the four main funding agencies and oversight structures in the City related to homelessness:
- City of San Diego Chief of Homelessness Strategies and Housing Liaison Keely Halsey
- San Diego City Councilmember Chris Ward’s Chief of Staff Molly Chase
- RTFH CEO Tamera Kohler
- SDHC Senior Vice President of Homeless Housing Innovations Lisa Jones
Leadership Council Memos
Community Action Plan Overview
Through a contract with SDHC on behalf of the City, the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), a nationally recognized consultant with broad expertise in the area of homelessness, developed this Community Action Plan.
The initial development of this plan included the creation of a Steering Committee that consisted of key staff members from major funding and policy-making agencies in the City of San Diego.
The Steering Committee included Keely Halsey, Chief of Homelessness Strategies & Housing Liaison for the Office of Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer; Molly Chase, Chief of Staff for San Diego City Councilmember Chris Ward; Tamera Kohler, Chief Executive Officer of the RTFH; and Lisa Jones, Senior Vice President of Homeless Housing Innovations for SDHC. The Steering Committee supported the work of CSH through all phases of the plan development.
The participation and input of more than 200 members of the community, including individuals who have experienced homelessness and those who regularly work directly with individuals experiencing homelessness, contributed to the development of the goals, principles, recommendations and strategies in this Community Action Plan.
By working creatively and collaboratively, the City of San Diego will build a client-centered homeless assistance system that aims to prevent homelessness, and that quickly creates a path to safe and affordable housing and services for people who experience homelessness in our community.
Goals Within Reach
In three years:
- Decrease unsheltered homelessness by 50 percent
- Finish the job of ending veteran homelessness
- Prevent and end youth homelessness as outlined in the San Diego County Coordinated Community Plan to End Youth Homelessness
System partners must rely on a set of principles to guide policy and funding decisions and build community cohesion.
- Be accountable.
- Develop creative and new housing options.
- Value the voices of people with lived experience.
- Improve service and options to people experiencing homelessness through evidence-based approaches.
- Make data-driven decisions and create transparency.
- Communicate and collaborate more effectively and frequently.
- Build capacity.
- Create positive momentum.
- Remove politics from decision-making about homelessness.
- Advance high impact solutions. Developing long-term housing takes time. Aggressive measures must be taken now, and the system needs to be flexible over time to meet changing needs and circumstances.
- Support strong leadership. Creation of a city-wide leadership council and project manager to keep progress on track.
- Invest in new housing and service options. Increase temporary crisis response solutions while also investing in permanent long-term units.
- Quickly address key issues. Address items needing immediate attention including adding behavioral health resources, outreach coordination, utilization of vouchers and appropriately staff entities implementing this plan.
- Implement a systems-level approach to homelessness planning. Build capacity and infrastructure around city-level governance, strategic thinking and systems change to support the articulated goals.
- Create a client-centered homeless assistance system. Create a homeless assistance system that centers around clients and values client feedback in system design and resource allocation.
- Decrease inflow through increase of prevention and diversion. Work with other regional systems to prevent homelessness when possible and divert people from the system altogether.
- Improve the performance of the existing system. Review current practices, performance and metrics to move from project-level thinking to system-level thinking.
- Increase the production of/access to permanent solutions. Identify low-income and affordable housing options to increase opportunities to provide greater access to permanent housing.
Permanent Housing Needs
- 5,416 permanent housing opportunities needed over the next 10 years for individuals and families experiencing homelessness:
- New or rehabilitated supportive housing
- Supportive housing leased in the private rental market
- Rapid rehousing rental assistance with services for one year
- Low-income housing rental assistance with services for three years
- Homelessness diversion assistance
- Estimated cost: $1.9 billion over 10 years
- Potential funding sources could include:
- City bond measures to create funding for homelessness services and new supportive housing
- State homeless assistance funding
- Federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance dedicated to addressing homelessness, and public housing units
- Resources for services, including coordination with the County of San Diego
- City funds, such as Affordable Housing Fund, City General Fund, or Special fees
- Private philanthropy
Crisis Response Actions
- 350-500 new crisis response beds or services needed to meet the needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness and the estimated annual inflow into emergency shelters.
- Estimated cost: Approximately $2.2 million per 100 new beds in annual operating cost
- Potential additional capital costs if new Sprung structures are needed for shelters.
- The plan includes five actions for meeting the crisis response need for single individuals and three actions for meeting the need for families.