On July 17, 2014, members of the Campaign Leadership Team celebrated four years of meeting monthly and working collaboratively to end homelessness in Downtown San Diego. Over 60 people attended the event, including California State Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, County Supervisor Gregory Cox, and many other multi-sector community and civic leaders.
Jennifer LeSar, Campaign Coordinator and Co-Chair, kicked-off the event by stating, “This room is filled with the best and the brightest minds San Diego has to offer to tackle the issue of ending homelessness; not only in downtown, not only in the city, but also in the county of San Diego.”
Throughout the event, collaboration was the theme. “It really was the partnership with the city and the county and then all of you [Campaign Leadership Team] propping us up and reminding us that we needed to stay together in this effort that creates this collaboration, the impact, and the momentum. The momentum is what we need to capitalize on,” said Atkins.
Ongoing momentum from the Campaign and its partners over the past four years has taken more than 1,150 formerly homeless individuals off the street including chronically homeless individuals and veterans.
To add to the theme of working together, Faulconer stated, “It is when people come together and collaborate that you actually get results.”
The 4th Anniversary Celebration event allowed Leadership Team members to share previous accomplishments, advice for moving forward and their passion for ending homelessness. Throughout the event, a slideshow highlighting successes from Registry Week, Blitz Week, previous WeALLCount events and other Campaign activities played in the background. “The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) really considers it a privilege to be part of this Campaign. It is important work that we are doing and having been part of the impressive success in just four years is something that we take pride in,” stated Jeff Davis, SDHC’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
Supervisor Greg Cox, County of San Diego, District 1 stated, “Four years ago, I participated in Registry Week and had the chance to talk one-on-one with homeless men and women to listen to their stories and learn about their needs. It was an eye-opening experience and it gave me a better understanding of the gaps in services and the many challenges facing these individuals. As we reflect on where we were then, and consider where we are now, I couldn’t be prouder of the momentum we’ve created. We have formed strong partnerships to identify housing, support and services for our homeless population. Our accomplishments downtown would not have been possible without the full cooperation of our business leaders, community partners, service providers and our public officials. Working together, we are making a difference.”
The special 4th Anniversary Celebration concluded with City of San Diego Council President Todd Gloria’s office providing the Campaign to End Homelessness in Downtown San Diego with a proclamation that declares July 17th as the Campaign to End Homelessness in Downtown San Diego Day!
Mark your calendar for next year as we celebrate another year of collaborative efforts to end homelessness on our 5th anniversary.