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

More San Diegans are newly homeless than being rehoused

In its first, new monthly report on Tuesday, the Regional Task Force on Homelessness said for every 10 people who find housing, 13 more become homeless in San Diego County.

Mama Heather is one of those people without a permanent home. She formerly lived at Harborside Park in Chula Vista until she was pushed out, and now lives in a tent downtown.

_DSF1650.jpg
Matthew Bowler
/
KPBS
Mama Heather speaks to KPBS just outside of her home, a tent on the sidewalk in downtown San Diego, Oct. 25, 2022.
Advertisement

“It's the bills, it's the inflation. It's hard for people to keep up. I've seen many vehicles get caught up, I've seen families get kicked out,” she said.

Tamera Kohler is the chief executive officer of the Regional Task Force on Homelessness.

_DSF1688.jpg
Matthew Bowler
/
KPBS
Tents line a street in the southern portion of downtown San Diego, Oct. 25, 2022.

“I think what is challenging and shocking is the number of first-time homelessness — which is something that even with all the investments,” she said. “We’re not able to get further upstream.”

The analysis found, about 15,000 people countywide were experiencing homelessness for the first time over the last year.

Advertisement
IMG_4880.jpg
Jacob Aere
/
KPBS
Homeless people's belongings line the streets of southern downtown San Diego, Oct. 25, 2022.

It also recorded that just under 12,000 people who were homeless found some type of housing during that same period.

“It’s also broken out by the number of seniors that are served, our transition aged youth that are 18 to 24, our families and our veterans. And it actually tracks the numbers of those same populations being housed,” Kohler said.

IMG_4879.jpg
Jacob Aere
/
KPBS
Mama Heather walks past her homeless neighbors outside of the tent that has become her home, Oct. 25, 2022.

The report comes at the same time that the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a data program to help prevent homelessness. That also includes an app-based tool that helps county employees connect unsheltered people to services.

“There’s no real good place for people like me — who are senior, disabled, either in a wheelchair or out of a wheelchair — to find an apartment that we have to have for a fixed-income basis,” Mama Heather said. “Now it's difficult to find that kind of place."

_DSF4781.jpg
Matthew Bowler
/
KPBS
Tents line a street in the southern portion of downtown San Diego, Oct. 25, 2022.

Over the last year the number of people in San Diego county who received services for homelessness was over 41,000 people according to the report.

That’s about five times more than the annual one-night count of people experiencing homelessness, which was done in February.

More San Diegans are newly homeless than being rehoused

As a general assignment reporter, I report on a wide range of different issues that affect the diverse neighborhoods of San Diego County including business, health, arts & culture and politics.
What are issues affecting San Diego's most vulnerable?

Explore all national, state and local returns now.