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

Oceanside Event Served As One Stop Shop For Homeless

Michelle Alcantar, Vista Community Clinic certified enrollment counselor, answers questions about Medical, CalFresh and CalWORKs Cash Aid at the North County Homeless Connection event, Oct 10, 2015.
Promise Yee
Michelle Alcantar, Vista Community Clinic certified enrollment counselor, answers questions about Medical, CalFresh and CalWORKs Cash Aid at the North County Homeless Connection event, Oct 10, 2015.

The North County Homeless Connection event held in Oceanside over the weekend served as a one stop shop to give area homeless a hand up.

Flu shots, hair cuts, dental services and a hot meal were offered, plus information on the soon-to-open winter shelters.

Steve Bassett, pastor and executive director of the Bread of Life Rescue Mission in Oceanside, said several North County shelters are striving to be open all year.

“If we can do that we'll have about 160 to 180 beds in North County year-round, which would really help with the homeless population in our area. It could really get some people back on track, back into housing, back to work. And do a lot of good in our community.”

Interfaith Community Service's Haven House in Escondido will be open year-round once it starts up this December.

Operation Hope women's shelter in Vista is set to run all year in 2017.

La Posada de Guadalupe shelter in Carlsbad began year-round operations in August 2015.

Melody Swaroop, RDHAP, provides free teeth cleaning at the North County Homeless Connection event on Oct. 10, 2015. Services were set up in a room used as a winter shelter at the Bread of Life Rescue Mission.
Promise Yee
Melody Swaroop, RDHAP, provides free teeth cleaning at the North County Homeless Connection event on Oct. 10, 2015. Services were set up in a room used as a winter shelter at the Bread of Life Rescue Mission.

Bassett said the Bread of Life Rescue Mission is beefing up its fundraising efforts so it too can stay open all year by 2018.

Bassett added the benefit of year-round operations is having more time to help people get back on their feet and secure permanent housing. Bassett said it takes an average of four to six months for a person to become employed and self-sufficient. He said it's heartbreaking when winter shelters close and individuals have not completed their transition.

According to the 2015 San Diego County point in time count of homeless, which was taken in 13 San Diego cities, there are 1,060 homeless in the North County cities of Escondido, Oceanside, Carlsbad and Encinitas. Escondido and Oceanside have the highest counts with 430 and 420 homeless, respectively.

Countywide the number of those without a home is up by almost 3 percent from last year's count.

Corrected: September 26, 2022 at 6:49 PM PDT
Promise Yee is a North County freelance writer. Contact her at promise.yee1@gmail.com. Twitter: @promisenews. Facebook: promise.yee.1.
What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.