Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
KPBS Midday Edition

San Diego City College Class Trains Homeless Services Workforce

Beds fill a homeless shelter inside the San Diego Convention Center Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in San Diego.
Gregory Bull / AP Photo
Beds fill a homeless shelter inside the San Diego Convention Center Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in San Diego.
Millions of dollars in funding for homeless services have started to flow from the state level down to San Diego, and those dollars are for not only bricks and mortar homes but also for services for the homeless. That creates service jobs. But it turns out those jobs working with the homeless are not easy to fill. They involve specific skills, and there has been little training till now to provide those skills.

A new class at San Diego City College prepares students for jobs that involve helping people experiencing homelessness find housing.

The San Diego Housing Commission worked with the college to create the class that will train future housing coordinators, peer mentors and case managers within homeless services organizations.

"The majority of my students who are taking this class right now, they know first hand what this is like to live in unstable housing. To live in their cars. And honestly, that passion and that lived experience is what's carrying them on," Kirin Macapugay who teaches the Homelessness Program for Engaged Educational Resources class said.

RELATED: San Diego City Council Approves Plan To Preserve Affordable Housing

In the entry-level class, students learn about local, state and federal policies that impact the industry, the roles of homeless services organizations in the county and the needed skills to work in the field.

Macapugay joined Midday Edition on Thursday to discuss the goals of the new class.