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SD City Council to Vote on Plan to End Chronic Homelessness

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Aired 4/19/09

After two-and-a-half years of work and planning, San Diego City Council will vote tonight on a community plan designed to end chronic homelessness. San Diego is one of 100 cities nationwide challenged by the Bush Administration to come up with such a plan.  KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

The plan’s goal is to find a more effective way of getting the chronically homeless off the streets. The chronically homeless include those with serious mental health or drug problems. They make up about 15 percent of the 10,000 homeless people in San Diego County. However they take up a disproportionate share of the $70 million in public money spent on homelessness in San Diego last year.

Research suggests it would be better to find permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless. That would leave more resources to help people who wouldn’t end up homeless if they received support before they landed on the streets.

About half the region’s homeless live in the city. San Diego City Council will consider how to find more permanent supportive housing. And they’ll discuss what to do about ticketing the homeless, since the city is short more than 2,000 shelter beds to provide people on the streets with an alternative. Alison St John, KPBS News.

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