PRESS RELEASE: Grant Makers Create Significant New Entity to Better Address Homelessness: ‘Funders Together to End Homelessness San Diego’


Gretchen Kinney Newsom

LeSar Development Consultants

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Grant Makers Create Significant New Entity to Better Address Homelessness: ‘Funders Together to End Homelessness San Diego’ 

Working group will pool resources to increase impact and invest in effective strategies to end chronic homelessness throughout the San Diego Region

San Diego, CA (April 23, 2014) – Major philanthropists and grant makers have formed a new alliance called Funders Together to End Homelessness San Diego (FTEH SD) to invest in effective systems change with the goal of ending chronic homelessness throughout San Diego County.

FTEH SD is comprised of private foundations and United Way of San Diego County. The former Homelessness Working Group transitioned from San Diego Grantmakers to become part of the growing group of public and private partners supporting United Way of San Diego County’s activities to end homelessness in the region.  The new alliance will capitalize on the work already done by the Homelessness Working Group since its formation in 2003, while also increasing collective efforts to affect system-level change.

“This marks the first time we are collectively pooling philanthropic funding to support homelessness best practices, such as Housing First*,” said United Way President and CEO Kevin Crawford.

Bolstered by a partnership with the national Funders Together network – and with nearly $800,000 in collective funding commitments – FTEH SD will leverage the alliance’s combined funding to actively and effectively fight homelessness.

FTEH SD founding investors include United Way of San Diego County; the McCarthy Family Foundation; The Parker Foundation; La Jolla Coin Shop owner and homeless advocate/philanthropist Michael McConnell; the Karen A. and James C. Brailean Fund at The San Diego Foundation; and the Leichtag Foundation. As a member of FTEH SD, Alliance Healthcare Foundation has aligned funding in support of FTEH SD strategies to end chronic homelessness.

“To distribute the funds raised, we will be identifying priorities and issuing RFPs,” said Jennifer LeSar, the local Funders Together group facilitator. “We plan to make investments in a Coordinated Entry System, where homeless individuals and organizations providing housing can find each other efficiently. We are likely to also invest in training, technical assistance, infrastructure support and advocacy to help educate community leaders about solutions that are working well across the country.”

The group will work to coordinate existing community resources – including funds, services, mental healthcare and job readiness assistance – and align them more effectively to help break the cycle of homelessness. Funders Together is the only national network for grantmakers working to end homelessness.

More information can be found at

About Funders Together to End Homelessness San Diego

Purpose:  To promote an effective and efficient system of housing and services to help end homelessness in San Diego County.

Goal: To build a San Diego County network of funders who are committed to solving homelessness through leadership, education, and advocacy; strategic collaboration, alignment and focus of resources; and effective promotion and replication of evidence based practices in our community.

Objective:  Expand philanthropic engagement in the systems change work needed to end homelessness in San Diego County.

About United Way of San Diego County

United Way of San Diego County is part of a network of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways around the world. Locally, United Way is creating sustainable change in the areas of education, self-sufficiency, health and homelessness. In addition to the Bright Futures financial self-sufficiency initiative, we are leading the countywide effort to end chronic homelessness by focusing on the most costly and vulnerable homeless individuals. United Way is a key partner in a number of Education initiatives throughout the county. To learn more, visit, our blog, Facebook and Twitter.

* According to the 100,000 Homes Campaign, Housing First is a simple philosophy that dictates that the most vulnerable and chronic people experiencing homelessness be offered the choice to move into permanent housing combined with available supportive services (“permanent supportive housing”) right away. It has been successful in San Diego and in cities throughout the U.S.