Over the past four years, the Campaign to End Homelessness in Downtown San Diego has celebrated many accomplishments; including housing over 1,150 formerly homeless individuals in Downtown San Diego. As we celebrate how far we have come, we also want to reflect on the path that led us to success.
In December of 2009, the San Diego Housing Commission’s CEO and President Rick Gentry, hosted a kick-off meeting for the 100,000 Homes Campaign (100,000 Homes) launch in San Diego. By July 2010, the Leadership Team was officially formed with leaders from government, business, community and workforce development.
In June 2010, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) issued Opening Doors, the federal plan to end homelessness, which highlights ending chronic and veteran homelessness by 2015. In line with the federal and 100,000 Homes goals, the Campaign launched Registry Week in September 2010. During this week, volunteer teams comprised of 240 people systematically canvassed every part of downtown and counted 1,040 homeless people – 737 of whom participated in a detailed survey that used the 100,000 Homes’ Vulnerability Index to identify people at high risk of dying if they remain on the street. Fifteen percent, or 146 people, were housed through this effort.
In 2012, the Campaign Leadership Team and its partners launched Blitz Week, which successfully housed 100 homeless from the streets of Downtown San Diego in time for the winter holidays. Eighty-six of these formerly homeless individuals were enrolled and housed in just three days. This effort institutionalized unprecedented coordination among federal, county and city partners, who came together to leverage resources.
In July 2013, the Campaign became a member of the 2.5 Percent Club and celebrated its third anniversary. The 2.5 Percent Club was created by 100,000 Homes to highlight communities that are housing individuals at a high rate per month. This milestone signified that the Campaign was on track to end homelessness in line with the federal goal.
The pace of our success is accelerating. In the first three years, we took 565 people off the street. In the fourth year, we doubled that number, for a cumulative total of 1,150.
The Campaign continues to demonstrate that by working together, the San Diego community can end homelessness.