Homeless Services housing assistance programs.

Homeless Services is an organization that is involved in administering many housing solutions in San Diego County. They partner with agencies, offer clients support from resources such as the Cortez Hill Family Center, and operate shelters and transitional housing. Once the family is stable, the center can offer referrals to funds for rental or deposit expenses.

The homeless that are on the streets can benefit from pro-active outreach, and this is what the Homeless Outreach Team does. It works in collaboration with the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) as well as the city of San Diego to provide assistance to the chronically homeless.

As the City's initial point of contact, the HOT Teams, which are composed of volunteers, psychiatric clinicians, police office, and County Mental Health eligibility technicians, seek out and make contact with the chronically homeless. The personnel work together to assess each person's problems and determine how best to assist them with their needs.

All issues are addressed. Whether the person’s homelessness has been caused by lack of job training, loss of income, psychological problems, substance abuse, or other issues, multiple options for emergency and long term housing assistance are available. This approach not only provides immediate solutions, but lays the foundation for the development of permanent ones.

Based on the initial assessment as well as an application process, those who are willing are placed in housing programs across San Diego that include appropriate support services. There may be substance-dependent individuals placed into the Serial Inebriate Program, and this allows them to stay in a sober-living environments as an alternative to incarceration. Other solutions from Homeless Services include emergency room care, transitional housing, or long-term care. Funding comes from the government as well as Community Services.

Transitional housing is available at the Cortez Hill Family Center. The center is owned by the City of San Diego and operated by the YWCA, and it is located in the Cortez Hill District of downtown San Diego. It was established to serve as a short-term safe haven for homeless children and their parents, including single moms.





Children residing at the Family Center attend local public schools, while their parents work to reestablish themselves in permanent housing during their stay. The staff at the Family Center as well as Homeless Services helps each family in accomplishing their goals. This is done through legal services, case management, medical care, applications to grants and job placement assistance.

The Homeless Services Special Needs Housing Program is a regional collaboration among the City and County of San Diego. Other partners include Civic San Diego, the Housing Commission, and various nonprofit charities. The program was established to assist homeless people with special needs, such as drug abuse, mental illness, or chronic alcohol.

It offers a combination of transitional beds for the severely mentally ill and dually diagnosed homeless, permanent supportive housing solutions, as assistance for people battling substance abuse. Housing is also for veterans and children.

The Homeless Services Emergency Winter Shelter Program operates in various locations, and provides programs for the homeless during the coldest part of the winter. There are both Single Adults Shelters as well as sites for veterans.

The locations will offer access to showers and laundry rooms. Other assistance will be free meals, referrals to available transitional or permanent housing for eligible clients, and employment assistance. The emergency shelter in San Diego County will also offer Opening Day health screenings and follow-up nursing care. This is provided through a collaboration between Family Health Centers of San Diego, nurses from the Mobile Clinic, the County, and also local various community clinics.




A database is offered. This will provide the homeless and others who are in need with the most comprehensive, effective, and direct resources. Low income families can learn about agencies, shelters, and services for rent and even security deposits in the county. Those who are in need of food, meals, clothing, shelter or other types of assistance can access this database by calling the Info Line of San Diego. The numbers are Greater San Diego (619-230-0997), North County Inland (760-740-0997), or the North County Coastal area 760-943-0997. For more information, the Homeless Services San Diego is at 1200 Third Ave., San Diego, California 92101.


By Jon McNamara

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