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Interfaith Community Services Receives HUD Grant To Help North County Homeless

Escondido-based Interfaith Community Services will be receiving $194,640 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of a second round of grants designed to end homelessness through a comprehensive plan conducted in coordination with county and nonprofit agencies across the nation.

"Homelessness is one of the most urgent social problems we face as a community," according to Interfaith's executive director Greg Anglea. Speaking with KPBS "Morning Edition's" Deb Welsh, Anglea said he believes it's simply inexcusable for anyone to suffer the debilitating hardship of living without basic shelter.

Altogether, the HUD grants are designed to combat homelessness by funding "Rapid Rehousing" and "Housing First" models throughout the country, with Interfaith Community Services among the first in North County to transition its homelessness programs to these new "best practice" standards.

Angela says included in the effort is a comprehensive nationwide strategy to prevent and end veterans and chronic homelessness by 2015, and end homelessness among children, youth and families by 2020.

More than 1,600 homeless individuals were found in North County on a single day last January, according to results of the point-in-time count, released April 19 by the "Regional Task Force on the Homeless."

Among North County cities, Escondido had 554 homeless individuals, the highest number in the region. A total of 424 homeless were counted in Oceanside, 400 in Vista, 88 in Encinitas, 76 in Carlsbad and 42 in Solana Beach.

Interfaith Community Services has been "helping people help themselves" in north San Diego County since 1982. It provides a wide range of programs designed to help hungry, homeless and low-income people get back on the road to stability.

Each year, Interfaith helps more than 22,000 people towards this goal through programs and services that include food and basic needs, social services, shelters and housing, employment services, youth programs, senior services, veterans programs and addiction recovery.