homeless households received emergency housing through hotel vouchers for homeless families, the disabled and the elderly.
People experiencing homelessness, mental illness and substance use disorders are among the most vulnerable in the community. Some residents struggle with all three. The County of San Diego is building a strong foundation to help this population and is making a difference.
The Whole Person Wellness pilot was implemented in January 2018 and has helped 400 people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. The program provides intensive care coordination for up to two years for people who are frequently seen in emergency departments, hospitals and jail. Whole Person Wellness teams work with experts in housing, substance abuse, mental health, those at community clinics and more to help vulnerable people escape this desperate cycle.
Project One for All has provided housing and treatment for 761 homeless people since its launch in February 2016. This last year, the County added or enhanced 12 intensive, full-service partnership programs designed for people who are homeless and mentally ill. These individuals are eligible to receive prioritized Housing Choice Vouchers.
Homeless Outreach Teams use law enforcement officers, mental health counselors and others to offer benefits and services directly to those who need them. For those facing homelessness, the Department of Child Support Services set up a specialized team last year to cut down the application process even more than before. Team members interview potential applicants when they first meet them. Homeless families get public assistance in a shorter time frame, delivering relief much sooner. This team helped 640 families.
Large tents called temporary Bridge Shelters are housing hundreds of homeless people in the City of San Diego. The County is providing behavioral health homeless outreach workers, eligibility workers, family support case management and public health nurses to help get these individuals get back on their feet.
Psychiatric Emergency Response Teams (PERT) help people on the streets who are experiencing severe symptoms due to their mental illness. We’re expanding to 70 teams this upcoming year.
Substance abuse plays a significant role among those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The County has programs in place, but next year the County will triple funding for treatment services by implementing a Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System. The programs will include new and enhanced services such as withdrawal management, care coordination, post-treatment recovery services and medication-assisted treatment.
Illicit drug users and the homeless bore the brunt of what became an unprecedented outbreak of hepatitis A virus in the county. Typically, residents are told to get a vaccination at their doctor’s office or a County public health clinic. In this situation, public health nurses, homeless outreach workers and law enforcement officers created field foot teams. They searched homeless encampments, ravines, riverbeds, canyons and urban areas to find people needing the hepatitis vaccine. More than 177,000 vaccinations were administered in the field and in clinical settings through the end of the last fiscal year.
Every year, about 81,000 adults are booked into County jails, and on any given day about a third of the population in custody receives mental health care. The County set up a new alternative custody program called PROGRESS to help those with mental illness re-enter the community. The program involves a specialized, residential setting and is designed for non-violent, non-sex offenders with low to moderate mental health issues.
The Defense Transition Unit helps clients transition into the long-term mental health treatment they need once they leave jail and reduces future time in custody. Since it launched in October 2016, the unit has received 1,500 referrals.
A local woman tells her story about the Turning Point and how it helped her break a cycle of substance abuse, jail and hopelessness.
…I been hurt bad and homeless. Gave me a place to stay because I’m homeless and need to be out of the cold. I have a broken back."
South Region Live Well Center Chula Vista
Very helpful and friendly especially since our family is going through some difficult times of being homeless."
Going through a rough time. Navigating waters I am not familiar with. I’m very nervous trying to provide for my family and everyone here made the process easier."
hepatitis A virus vaccinations were administered through the end of last fiscal year in response to the unprecedented outbreak in the county.