San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria joined mayors of nearly a dozen major cities in California on Monday to push for continued funding for homeless support programs.
Currently, cities receive state funding through the Housing, Assistance, and Homelessness Prevention (HHAP) program.
Since fiscal 2019, the City of San Diego has received $78,414,999.08 in funds from HHAP and the Homeless Emergency Assistance Program (HEAP). The HHAP is one-time funding, so the governor and legislature must decide whether to continue funding the state budget. The “big city mayors,” who represent the 11 largest cities in the state, are asking for an additional $1 billion over the next three years.
In total, the city and county have received more than $154 million since 2019.
|City of San Diego||San Diego County||San Diego COC||Total|
|TAS (financial year 2019)||$14,110,397.95||N / A||$18,821,668.48||$32,932,063.43|
|HHAP 1 (fiscal year 2020)||$22,491,840.12||$9,996,652.14||$10,790,528.04||$43,279,020.30|
|HHAP 2 (fiscal year 2021)||$10,632.506||$4,569,898||$5,105,688||$20,308,092|
|HHAP 3 (fiscal year 2022)||$27,480,939.20||$12,795,714.74||$13,709,694.36||$53,986,348.30|
|HHAP 4 (fiscal year 2023)||N / A||N / A||N / A||N / A|
“Without this long-term commitment, without this ongoing commitment from the state, it is difficult to do the amount of work that we need to visibly reduce the number of people living on our streets,” Gloria said.
In the city of San Diego, HEAP and HHAP funding was used, in part, to build a 138-bed bridge shelter. The money is also used to provide services to all of the city’s bridge shelters and their 922 operational beds, and to fund the safe parking program and other services.
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“The HHAP flexibility allows us to be quick with quick fixes in many cases that are very inexpensive,” Gloria said.
Mayor Gloria recently toured a parking lot in Kearny Mesa used for the city’s secure parking program. The program, run by Jewish Family Services of San Diego, allows homeless people to sleep in their cars overnight from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Each year, the city provides $950,000 to run the program, which has served 1,850 people at three San Diego locations since February 2018. The money comes from state HHAP funds.
“There are no words. They helped us a lot and I’m very grateful to them,” said Rudy Sanchez.
Sanchez, 68, and his wife Maria Carmen, 76, used Safe Parking for nine months.
Sanchez said his landlord raised the couple’s monthly rent to $1,200 and they had no choice but to start sleeping in their van.
Gloria uses the couple’s experience as an example of the importance of state funding.
“Programs like JFS Safe Parking are a way to end homelessness, get people into housing and keep them there permanently,” Gloria said.
Recently, the couple was able to move into a low-rent apartment subsidized by the Section 8 voucher program.
“When I see people in their cars, I tell them to go to the Jewish Family Service right there on Balboa. They’re great people and they’ll help you out,” Sanchez said.