A Look Back, A Look Forward

Dear Campaign Supporters and Partners:

As we stand on the doorstep of 2015, it is amazing to look back over the last several years and think about what this Campaign has accomplished!  But there is still more work to be done and new paths to blaze in our effort to end homelessness.

This month’s newsletter takes stock of our accomplishments and offers a glimpse of the future. Change is on the horizon and we are excited about the opportunities and energized about the possibilities ahead for the New Year!

As always, we welcome your feedback and appreciate your support!

Best Wishes and Happy New Year!

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The Campaign Leadership Team: A Table of Visionaries

Aristotle famously said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” The Campaign to End Homelessness in Downtown San Diego embodies that sentiment.

The Campaign has brought together San Diego’s public, private, government and nonprofit sectors for the first time, working together on the premise that ending homelessness in downtown San Diego is critical to a thriving economy, as well as a vibrant living and working environment.

Kris Michell, President and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership and Campaign Co-Chair, speaking at the Campaign’s December meeting, thanked a long list of key players who made invaluable contributions to the Campaign over the years.

The list of those recognized by Michell included Jennifer LeSar, Congressman Scott Peters, the Veterans Administration, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria and his policy aide, Jessica Lawrence; Kevin Crawford, President and CEO of the United Way of San Diego; Rick Gentry, SDHC President and CEO; Melissa Peterman of SDHC, the City of San Diego, SDPD’s HOT team, the Port of San Diego, healthcare advocates and 211.

For more about the Campaign’s Leadership Team, click here.

A Multi-Phased Plan of Attack

black and white handsThe Campaign to End Homelessness in Downtown San Diego was carefully built around a multi-phased plan of attack. Here is how the campaign grew and matured over time

Phase 1: The Pilot Phase
The first phase started with a relatively humble goal: End homelessness for 125 people in downtown San Diego. The result: Fifteen percent of the downtown street homeless population, or 146 people, were housed in the campaign’s first year.

Phase 2: The Institutionalization
The second phase sought to build on the successes and lessons learned from Phase 1. In Phase 2, the goal was to house an additional 100 homeless people and institutionalize our coordination strategies. The result: The campaign housed 92 homeless persons in just three days and reached full capacity of 100 housed in early 2013.

Phase 3: Take Efforts to Scale
The goal for Phase 3 is to end homelessness for the remaining 800 people in downtown San Diego and the 400 people in its immediate environs. The objective: Raise public and private capital to fund appropriate housing and support services, and cover expenses, to end homelessness in Downtown San Diego.

Phase 4: Regionalization
In the campaign’s final phase, the goal is to regionalize the Campaign’s proven methodology to end homelessness in San Diego County. We have more on this phase later in this newsletter.

A Few Words from Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins

The2.5Club_10Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), was recognized for her tireless efforts toward ending homelessness at the December meeting.

Kris Michell introduced Atkins, saying she has been a key participant and leader since the Campaign’s beginning.

“Starting in 2009, Toni has been the wind beneath our wings,” Michell said.

Atkins, a former San Diego City Council member, made a point of thanking the campaign’s partners. She singled out County Supervisor Greg Cox, SDHC President and CEO Rick Gentry, the Veterans Administration, the Downtown San Diego Partnership, the SDPD HOT Team and the Regional Task Force on the Homeless.

Atkins noted that the abolition of redevelopment in 2011 was the biggest setback for the Campaign, but that it persevered thanks to healthy collaborations.

“This Campaign has been a success because the County, City and businesses have worked together, developing a best practice model, particularly for data,” Atkins said.

A New Plan to Address Homelessness: SDHC’s Housing First—San Diego

Dear Campaign Supporters and Partners:

This month, we begin with an exciting announcement of a three-year, $200 million commitment to address homelessness called  Housing First—San Diego, administered by the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) and supported by a broad array of leaders in the nonprofit, for-profit and government sectors.

In other local news, we bring you up-to-date on the City’s winter shelter, which opened this month.

On the national scene HUD has released its Annual Homeless Report, which found that homelessness has decreased by 10 percent nationally. Specific populations, such as veterans, saw even greater decreases.

Meanwhile, we also have news on new funding opportunities and a key job opening.

As always, we welcome your feedback and appreciate your support!

Best Wishes and Happy Thanksgiving,

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U-T San Diego Op-Ed: Housing First Model Benefits Entire Community

Dear Campaign Supporters and Partners:

This month, our newsletter is packed with news about San Diego’s progress toward ending homelessness. We begin with a great op-ed column from Sunday’s U-T San Diego that talks about the effectiveness of the Housing First model, crediting the hard work of the Campaign to End Homelessness in Downtown San Diego.

In related news, we have the latest on the revamped operations plan for the City’s winter shelter and a push for new technology to streamline service provision.

Also on the local front, it was gratifying to see the police unit that is directly responsible for helping homeless individuals get off the streets and into services receive a richly deserved award from the Downtown San Diego Partnership.

On the state and national scene, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins announced millions of dollars in federal grants to fight veteran homelessness in California, while CSH and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation take their partnership to a higher level with a major grant to build supportive housing in Los Angeles County.

Meanwhile, we bring you up to speed on newly signed laws that bolster homeless services.

As always, we welcome your feedback and appreciate your support!


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U-T San Diego Op-Ed: Housing First Model Benefits All San Diegans

“Let’s talk about homelessness,” begins an op-ed in Sunday’s U-T San Diego. “But wait – this time, remarkably enough, the news is promising.”

Thom Reilly, professor emeritus at SDSU’s School of Social Work, wrote the column, which discusses the benefits of the Housing First model and credits the hard work of the Campaign to End Homelessness in Downtown San Diego, a broad-based coalition of leaders from the public and private sectors, nonprofits and government.

“What they’ve found is eye-opening. It costs less to keep (homeless individuals) off the streets than to do nothing,” Reilly wrote.

Reilly notes that the number of unsheltered homeless people has decreased over the last two years. Further, the tangible benefits of reducing homelessness extend beyond those who are housed. Matching homeless individuals with appropriate housing and services helps strengthen the economy, creates jobs and eases the burden on public services.

Jennifer LeSar, President and CEO of LeSar Development Consultants; and Toni Atkins, who today is Speaker of the California State Assembly, brought the Campaign to San Diego in late 2009.

Currently, the Campaign is co-chaired by LeSar and Kris Michell, President and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership.

25 Cities Initiative Wraps Up 100-Day Challenge

Dear Campaign Supporters and Partners:

This month, we bring you an update on San Diego’s 25 Cities Initiative, which has just wrapped up it’s first 100-Day Challenge and is planning a celebration.

The Ocean Beach Town Council stepped up this month, passing a resolution that calls on the City and County of San Diego to address homeless issues.

We also have news of an important study that puts San Diego’s homeless student population in perspective, a round-up of homeless legislation that has made it to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk, and an announcement of HUD’s latest NOFA for regional homeless funding.

As always, we welcome your feedback, and we appreciate your support!

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Dear Campaign Supporters and Partners:

In the past month our most vulnerable populations have faced innumerable challenges in the wake of federal actions. Though legislators have bandaged the budget gridlock, the damage has been done for many individuals, and there is no guarantee that a resolution to Congressional embroilment will happen before the next deadline.

In California, however, crucial decisions have been made by Governor Brown on game-changing legislation. Many measures that will alleviate homelessness were signed into law, and we are pleased to announce the positive outcome of key bills we have been tracking. Our own Campaign to End Homelessness in Downtown San Diego is likewise seeing valuable momentum, and, as always, we look forward to keeping you up to date on the latest news and policy developments surrounding our efforts.



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Robin Madaffer, Co-Chair

Ending Homelessness Campaign Leadership Team

Jennifer LeSar

Ending Homelessness Campaign Coordinator

100,000 Homes Campaign Honored with World Habitat Award!

We are thrilled to announce that the 100,000 Homes Campaign has been honored as a recipient of the 2013 World Habitat Award! The award is presented by the Building and Social Housing Foundation in association with the United Nations. Two project recipients are recognized annually for their “practical and innovative solutions to current housing needs and problems.” This recognition not only reflects the collaborative efforts of the Campaign, but will also ensure that we become a global model for social change.