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City Heights Hosts One-Stop Shop For Community Resources

The items of a hygiene kit are displayed on a table, Nov. 1, 2017.

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: The items of a hygiene kit are displayed on a table, Nov. 1, 2017.

Thousands of San Diegans suffer from unemployment, poverty, poor health and other problems, and a local group aims to help residents address them all in one day. The effort, called Day of Dignity, is part of a national campaign to connect low-income and homeless populations with support programs and necessities, such as school supplies, hygiene kits and clothing.

Ahmed Sahid, president and CEO of local organizer Somali Family Service, said the annual health and resource fair alleviates the burden of searching for resources.

"Rather than them having difficulty to navigate the process, they will have organizations that are already there that can interact and hopefully get the service they need, not only what we provide, but we want to have a collective impact," Sahid said.

Day of Dignity Details

Nov. 4, 12 - 4 p.m.

Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park, 4380 Landis St., San Diego

While his organization primarily serves the East African community, the Nov. 4 event is open to persons of all backgrounds, he said.

At Day of Dignity, volunteers and participating agencies will distribute blankets, administer flu shots and introduce hundreds of expected attendees to more than a dozen healthcare and social service providers, Sahid said.

Activities and supervision for kids will also be provided so parents can interact with groups that are tabling at the event.

"There is a number of challenges that this community is facing, but also the resources are out there," he said.

According to American Community Survey estimates, the City Heights area has a higher rate of unemployment and poverty than both the city and county of San Diego. The mid-city region also has a higher uninsured rate than the rest of the county.

National partner, Islamic Relief USA, said past events have inspired volunteers to establish service programs and organizations that aid communities year-round, said spokesman Minhaj Hassan.

"Day of Dignity enjoins and promotes partnerships between hundreds of both secular and faith-based, local community-based organizations engaging in a variety of social service work and beyond that come together to provide free resources to those in need," Hassan said.

Days of Dignity events occurred in more than a dozen other cities this year.

For communities in need of a health screening, employment assistance or a hot meal, an annual resource fair aims to be a one-stop shop.

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