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San Diego Youth Agency Receives $2.5M To Provide Homeless Services

Bob McElroy, CEO of the Alpha Project, talks to children at the homeless tran...

Above: Bob McElroy, CEO of the Alpha Project, talks to children at the homeless transitional camp near downtown San Diego, Oct. 17, 2017.

San Diego Youth Services received $2.5 million to help homeless youth with services and housing, Assemblyman Todd Gloria announced Tuesday.

Gloria characterized it as the state's "highest investment in services specifically for homeless youth in decades."

"When I came to the Assembly, the state invested only about $2 million statewide for homeless youth," the former San Diego city councilman said. "With the rate of homeless youth increasing, that had to change."

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Walter Philips, CEO of San Diego Youth Services, said the money will be the catalyst for a system to ensure that housing and services are available for homeless youth anywhere in the San Diego region.

"Together, we will make a real impact in ending homelessness amongst youth in San Diego," Philips said.

SDYS will partner with South Bay Community Services, YMCA Youth and Family Services, The Center, Home Start and the Regional Task Force on the Homeless to expand resources for young people in need, Philips said.

The $2.5 million is part of a $10 million overall allocation distributed to four counties around the state. The $10 million was provided to the Office of Emergency Services as part of the Homeless Youth Emergency Services and Housing Program, said Nick Serrano, spokesman for Gloria's office.

Qualifying organizations that serve homeless youth submitted funding requests detailing how they would provide options such as rapid re-housing, rental assistance and transitional or supportive housing, Serrano said.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story reported San Diego Youth Services had received $10 million. However, that amount was allocated statewide. The local agency received $2.5 million.

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