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North County a Role Model for Winter Shelter Planning

San Diego’s North County is setting a precedent for collaboration on its plans to provide winter shelters for the homeless this year. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

San Diego’s North County is setting a precedent for collaboration on its plans to provide  winter shelters for the homeless this year. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Finding shelters for the homeless during cold weather has become a hot political potato. Last year the city of Escondido balked at operating the region’s main shelter for yet another season. But now nine North County cities and almost 30 non-profit agencies are on the verge of reaching agreement on a coordinated regional shelter program.  

Mel Takahara of the Salvation Army says every city in the alliance sent staff to figure out an agreement on who will pay for what.

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<b> Takahara: </b> The money was not really the focus, the focus was the belief that we knew we could find common ground. 

Takahara says the goal is to build a more stable system of several winter shelters -- each  with support services -- across north county, and avoid the last minute emergency situation that tends to happen every winter. Cal State San Marcos will evaluate the experiment to see if it can be improved in future years.

Alison St John, KPBS news