Ensure every resident has the opportunity to make positive healthy choices, that San Diego County has fully optimized its health and social service delivery system and makes health, safety and thriving a focus of all policies and programs.
FIGHTING GROWING HOMELESSNESS
The County of San Diego is committed to fighting the growing homelessness problem. Three new efforts launched in June 2017 established a $25 million affordable housing investment pool, allocated $500,000 to underwrite affordable pre-development and planning activities, and identified County-owned properties that could be used for residential development and the construction of affordable housing.
Regionally, the County and its many government and social service partners provide thousands of people with shelter but these new initiatives will bolster those efforts.
The Point-in-Time Count in January 2017 showed the number of people experiencing homelessness increased 5 percent over the prior year. More than 9,000 people do not have a permanent place to call home.
About 39 percent of the unsheltered people experiencing homelessness in the region suffer from a mental health issue and 4 percent have a serious mental illness.
To help this specific population, Project One for All was launched in early 2016. It focuses on getting people experiencing homelessness with serious mental illnesses into housing and then providing treatment and other services. To date, Project One for All has helped 396 people get into housing.
The County also approved funds for two new affordable housing developments. When combined with three additional developments that will receive Project Based Section 8 vouchers, 261 new affordable apartments will come online. Some may be set aside for Project One for All, others for homeless veterans, and still others for developmentally disabled adults and low-income seniors.
Meanwhile, it’s not unusual for some Parks and Recreation staff members and Department of Public Works road crews to encounter the homeless while on the job. The employees received training on how to approach them and were given cards to hand out that offer information on housing, temporary shelters and resources for youth and foster care facilities.
households each month get rental assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher program.
homeless veterans were permanently housed through the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program.
We lived in a shelter, we lived in a van, we lived in a car, we lived in a garage and now, I’m really blessed. We’re not used to this and I’m really thankful, thank you so much.”
PREPARING FOR THE AGING POPULATION
San Diego County is home to approximately 436,000 adults over 65 years old comprising 11 percent of the county population. By 2030, this number is expected to grow to 732,572 or 20 percent of the county population.
The County is strengthening services to help the aging population live well. At the same time, the County is protecting vulnerable residents who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and those living in residential care facilities.
The County joined the World Health Organization and the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities this past year to make our region an Age-Friendly Community. This designation involves examining and enhancing eight major aspects of the community: housing, transportation, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communications and information, community support and health services, and outdoor spaces and buildings. The aim is to make San Diego County one of the best places to live for people of all ages.
As part of Age Well San Diego, the County also joined the Dementia Friendly America Network in 2016 to enhance its work on The Alzheimer’s Project, a 10-year endeavor. This disease affects 64,000 people age 55 and older in the County. Now in its third year, The Alzheimer’s Project has made significant strides. The Project created more educational and support opportunities for caregivers, expanded the Take Me Home Project across many law enforcement jurisdictions to address wandering, increased the use of physician guidelines to help more people receive early diagnosis of the disease, and continues to support work in drug discovery to improve treatment, find a cure and potentially even prevent disease onset.
Despite efforts to help people age well within their home, for some, there will be a need for out-of-home placement. Consumers need to make informed decisions on the best fit for their situation. Choose Well encourages owners and operators of every local residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE) to voluntarily allow their facility to be rated for quality of care. The score is posted publicly so consumers can review it when making a selection. As of June 2017, 117 RCFEs have volunteered to be rated. Choose Well empowers consumers while encouraging RCFEs to achieve and maintain high standards of care.
meals provided to seniors
I have been to many of these events and this is the best, honestly."
- Vital Aging Conference Participant
held at County libraries
help from the
extended foster youth program
GETTING THE RIGHT START
Creating a region that is healthy, safe and thriving means starting at the very beginning – with our children. The Nurse-Family Partnership program pairs underserved first-time expectant mothers with public health nurses. They visit the women regularly during their pregnancy and the first two years of the child’s life. The nurses help the new moms learn how to maintain a healthy pregnancy and become a good parent. This past year, 2,308 families were served.
The San Diego County Library offers books to fuel children’s minds, and for the first time last year, after-school snacks to fuel their bodies. The Lemon Grove and Spring Valley branches gave out 6,038 snacks to children and teens each month during the school year. The new program grew out of the success of Summer Meals, which served 22,145 free nutritious meals to kids last summer.
The Library also offered more than 300 digital literacy programs. Nearly 3,700 children under 18 learned about information technology and put those lessons to the test on the internet.
Teens can prepare for the workforce through the Library’s Service Learning program. It gives teens volunteer work experience for school credit. Each year, more than 1,000 teens participate with over 35,894 hours of work experience in the last fiscal year.
The Department of Parks and Recreation does its part to help young people, too. More than 23,000 kids took advantage of programs on art and music, sports and exercise, the environment, civic engagement, and holiday and community festivals last year.
Children in foster care can reconnect with their siblings at Camp Connect in Julian. The annual four-day retreat provides a bonding experience for siblings who have been placed in separate foster homes. More than 100 kids made new memories and strengthened their relationships during the August 2016 getaway.
As children grow into teenagers, developing leadership skills is key to their ability to thrive and succeed. The 4-H Development Program helped some young people create a San Diego County Junior Leadership Conference for middle school students. More than three dozen attended sessions on Running a Meeting, Problem Solving, Speaking in Binary Code and Recreational Leadership.
This program has been a blessing for my family. The after-school snacks program allows me and my husband to have peace of mind that our kids are in a safe environment after school and it’s especially helpful for a family on a budget.”
–Kelly B., Lemon Grove
Live Well Communities for All
Healthy, safe and thriving communities are a key part of the Live Well San Diego vision, but some communities struggle to meet that goal. To help, the County has been working on a new project called Live Well Communities. The mission is to strengthen services and create opportunities for all residents – regardless of where you live, your age, gender, race/ethnicity, or income.
Live Well Communities initially focuses on neighborhoods in southeast San Diego and nearby locations in Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and National City. The idea is to build on the strengths of each area and involve other government agencies, community- and faith-based organizations, schools, and the residents themselves in the goal to create a healthier community. The major priorities involve creating jobs, reducing crime and improving access to healthy food.
The Live Well Communities project has received nationwide attention, receiving a $10,000 community seed grant and an opportunity to compete with 50 other cities and counties for $1.5 million in the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge.
Child Support Services relocated from downtown San Diego to offices in the South Bay and North County to better serve client needs.
The District Attorney’s Office partners with southeast San Diego to bring services directly to the community and opens the Community Action Resource Engagement Center in National City.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATION CENTER
1600 Pacific Highway
San Diego, CA 92101