The Campaign to End Homelessness in Downtown San Diego began with a bold vision, an innovative strategy and a dedicated group of local leaders all aligned in pursuit of a common goal. The goal was so simple – and so audacious – that it just made sense to make the goal and the name of the campaign one and the same.
In December 2009, San Diego Housing Commission President and CEO Rick Gentry hosted a kick-off meeting for the 100,000 Homes Campaign launch in San Diego. The 100,000 Homes Campaign was a national movement of more than 175 communities working together to find permanent homes for 100,000 chronic and medically vulnerable homeless Americans by July 2014. (They succeeded.)
This kick-off meeting in 2009 marked the start of the official partnership and coordination between the Campaign Leadership Team and 100,000 Homes. At the heart of this partnership was an innovative strategy called “Housing First,” which prioritizes providing housing for vulnerable homeless populations as the first step toward stabilization. Services and other support mechanisms follow as needed.
Today, thanks to the commitment and dedication of a Leadership Team comprised of more than 60 organizations and individuals, the Campaign to End Homelessness in Downtown San Diego has housed more than 1,150 people and created new coordinated systems that will pave the way for streamlined service delivery in the future.