San Diego County needs more than 9,000 new affordable and supportive housing options, at least 850 new shelter beds and thousands more housing aid slots to dramatically reduce homelessness, according to a new regional homelessness plan released Wednesday.
The Regional Task Force on Homelessness, the countywide group coordinating the local response to homelessness, contracted with the Corporation for Supportive Housing to calculate regional needs. What resulted was a long-wanted plan that urges dramatic upticks in housing and aid.
“Currently there are not enough resources to effectively make homelessness in San Diego rare, brief, and onetime,” the plan states.
The new strategy pushes the region to strive to halve unsheltered homelessness and end homelessness among veterans, families, youth and seniors in the next five years.
It also describes challenges the region must address to put a significant dent in its homelessness crisis including fragmented leadership and lacking regional coordination, a dearth of low-barrier shelter options, service and housing deserts in some areas of the county and “little urgency” to address a major shortage of affordable housing.
Task Force CEO Tamera Kohler acknowledged delivering new homes and shelter won’t be easy, but cheered a recent city and county commitment to produce 10,000 housing units. She also said shared and nontraditional housing options such as modular units could also help the county quickly house more of its homeless residents.
The key, Kohler said, will be drastically scaling up solutions including housing.
“I think we could dramatically change the landscape and reduce the numbers,” Kohler said.