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San Diego Project Homeless Connect Helps Those In Need

Homeless people are pictured in line for lunch at San Diego Homeless Connect at Golden Hall on Jan. 28, 2015.
Matthew Bowler
Homeless people are pictured in line for lunch at San Diego Homeless Connect at Golden Hall on Jan. 28, 2015.

Hundreds of San Diego’s homeless and the groups that help them came together in downtown’s Golden Hall for the ninth Project Homeless Connect.

The event, put on by the San Diego Housing Commission, aims to bridge a gap between those who need help and those who want to give. The last Project Homeless Connect helped 850 people get access to the services.

This year the line to get into Golden Hall stretched across Civic Center Plaza and down Third Street.

Homeless mother Janelle is pictured holding one of her two children at San Diego Homeless Connect in downtown's Golden Hall on Jan. 28, 2015.
Matthew Bowler
Homeless mother Janelle is pictured holding one of her two children at San Diego Homeless Connect in downtown's Golden Hall on Jan. 28, 2015.

Janelle, who asked us not to use her last name, is a mother of two and is homeless despite having had a job.

“I was working at the Grocery Outlet,” Janelle said. “I was making maybe $500 every two weeks and it wasn’t enough to survive off of.”

Melissa Peterman, San Diego Housing Commission’s homeless outreach coordinator, said there are reasons why people lose their place to live, but there is support out there.

“There are a number of reasons people become homeless.” Peterson said. “And so we try to bring everybody into one place so that folks who come through our doors are able to connect immediately with the support that they need.”

San Diego City Councilman Todd Gloria said San Diego is not getting the federal aid it should.

“For years now San Diego has been at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to federal homeless funding because the formula that is used by Congress is outdated," Gloria said.

Gloria said that doesn’t mean San Diego will get more money with a new formula for determining aid. But he said the money will go to those who need it more.

Meanwhile, Janelle is working hard to stay optimistic. She said she has two reasons to keep on fighting.

“My children. I can't give up, because if I give up, where are they going to live? What good of a mother would I be?” Janelle asked.