North County Homeless Alliance Rebrands Shelter Network
A new report sheds light on the homeless population in San Diego's North County, or at least the population that seeks shelter.
The Alliance for Regional Solutions is a network of agencies celebrating 10 years of working together on homelessness in nine North County cities. This week they're taking stock.
Greg Anglea, the director of Interfaith Community Services Director, said the group is re-launching its winter shelter network as a ”Bridge Housing” network, to better reflect what they do.
“This reflects the reality that not only are most of our shelters year-round and not just during the cold weather months," Anglea said. "They all are operating under a shared goal of not just being a shelter over somebody’s head, but a bridge for that individual to end their homelessness, and find their permanent home.”
The year-round shelter network consists of Catholic Charity’s shelter for homeless men in Carlsbad, which went year-round in 2013; Haven House in Escondido,, which went year-round last Christmas; and Operation Hope’s shelter for homeless families which went year-round this month in Vista.
Another shelter for adults run by Bread of Life in Oceanside and a rotating winter shelter run by the Interfaith Shelter Network only open in the winter months.
The alliance’s report shows 29 percent of the 538 people who went through their North County winter homeless shelters last year self-report as living in Oceanside. The next most common previous places of residence are Escondido and downtown San Diego.
Of the homeless, 30 percent were women. Anglea noticed a disturbing finding among that population.
“One of the pieces that really stood out to me is that, of all the women we serve throughout all of our different shelters, 47 percent are survivors of domestic violence,”he said.
The report also shows 15 percent were under the age of 17.
The alliance offered 188 beds altogether last winter. Most people stayed for one month or less before moving on.
Anglea said more than half of those coming off the streets and going through the shelter programs ended up in some form of housing, and 22 percent exited into stable, permanent housing.
Overall, the budget for the shelter network is $1.5 million, Anglea said, and of that, the nine North County cities provide about $200,000. Most of the support comes from private sources.
The last “Point in Time Count” by the Regional Task Force for the Homeless showed almost 24 percent of the region’s homeless live in North County.