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City Council Approves $14.1 Million Block Grant Allocation For Homelessness

People stand near homeless encampments on 17th Street in San Diego's East Village,  January 23, 2017.
Susan Murphy
People stand near homeless encampments on 17th Street in San Diego's East Village, January 23, 2017.

The San Diego City Council unanimously voted, 9-0, Tuesday to invest more than $14 million in homelessness services and programs designed to curb the city's homeless population.

The $14.1 million allocation of state funding comes from the Homeless Emergency Aid Program, a $500 million block grant designed to help address homelessness throughout California. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the mayors of the other so-called Big 11 cities secured a total of $150 million in state funding to address homelessness issues in the state's biggest cities.

The city will allocate $5.8 million for homeless services like housing navigation, $5.2 million for rental assistance and subsidies, $1.6 million for the continuation of city services and facilities like San Diego's three bridge shelters and $705,000 each for youth programs and administration costs.


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"Thanks to the advocacy by California's largest cities, we can now implement these critical programs to improve our outreach, expand the range and depth of homeless services including prevention and diversion strategies, and bring creative solutions online to move hundreds of homeless San Diegans off the streets and into housing," said District 3 City Councilman Chris Ward.

The funds will be used to expand some existing programs while creating new ones, such as a flexible subsidy pool that offers housing assistance to residents who may not qualify for federal housing vouchers. San Diego's Regional Task Force on the Homeless will also receive a separate $18.8 million HEAP grant as one of the state's Continuum of Care programs.

"Homelessness is the issue across our state and cities are bearing much of the burden," Faulconer said. "Our state legislators have recognized that all levels of government need to work together to help our most vulnerable residents. This funding gives us the ability to expand programs that are already working and create new programs that will help people begin to turn their lives around."