In a presentation to the Board of Commissioners for the San Diego Unified Port District last month, Chief of Harbor Police John Bolduc discussed an increase in homelessness in areas near the Port. In response to Chief Bolduc’s points regarding homelessness, the Board asked staff to further analyze homelessness near the Port and produce a best practices policy and program recommendations report for addressing this issue by May of 2014. In the summer of 2013, 131 homeless individuals were counted on Port tide lands. The goals of the Board of Commissioners are to reduce homelessness in the area by 20%, which would decrease the number of homeless individuals on tide lands from 131 to 105, and to reduce the number of calls to Harbor police on homeless issues by July 1, 2014.
On January 7, the San Diego Unified Port District and Alpha Project established an agreement to collaborate in ending homelessness around the San Diego Bay. Signed by Harbor Police Chief John Bolduc and President and CEO of Alpha Project Bob McElroy, this partnership will leverage $50,000 in funding for the next six months to link homeless individuals in the San Diego Bay to services and to further investigate the next steps for addressing homelessness in the area.
Several of the public speakers at this event congratulated the Port for its decision to partner with Alpha Project. Jennifer LeSar, our Campaign Coordinator, thanked the Board and discussed the importance of providing Alpha Project with support for street outreach in order to end homelessness in San Diego. Interim Mayor Todd Gloria stated that collaboration is key in this effort and that this agreement is a step in the right direction in reaching the Campaign’s goal to end homelessness in downtown San Diego by 2016.