Homeless Action Plan in motion: Interagency Leadership Council meets

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Continuing efforts to carry out San Diego’s vision for reducing homelessness, an interagency Leadership Council convened last week for the first time to discuss the progress being made on the City of San Diego’s  Community Action Plan on Homelessness.

The Leadership Council consists of Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, City Councilmember Chris Ward, San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) President & CEO Richard C. Gentry, Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH) CEO Tamera Kohler, San Diego Padres General Partner Peter Seidler who represents the Lucky Duck Foundation, John Brady from the Voices of Our City Choir, and Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell, the Vice President of State Governmental Affairs and External Affairs for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).

The council met with the Community Action Plan on Homelessness’ Implementation Team for a report on progress made to date and action items underway.

Updates discussed by the Leadership Council included:

  • Overview of the Leadership Council, including operational protocols, role of the Implementation Team, process for reporting activities, and agreement on the frequency of the meetings.
  • Activity overview since plan adoption and forward-looking progress, with an emphasis on expansion of shelter capacity, ongoing evaluation of programs such as the Housing Navigation Center and the Day Center, analysis of public land for use as permanent supportive housing and affordable housing, and expansion of the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s Family Reunification Program.
  • Staffing resources at the City of San Diego, SDHC and RTFH to carry out the implementation of the Community Action Plan on Homelessness.

Items for action included:

  • Analyzing development opportunities on public land and exploring potential land trust. (System Impact Strategy – Increase Production of Permanent Solutions)
  • Implement a ‘Street to Home’ Pilot Program for 150 high utilizers. (System Impact Strategy – Reduce Inflow/Three Year Goal – Reduce unsheltered Homelessness)
  • Regional HHAP Coordination Meetings. (Foundational Strategy – Implement a Systems-Level Approach to Homelessness Planning)

Through a contract with SDHC on behalf of the City of San Diego, the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), a nationally recognized consultant with broad expertise in homelessness, developed the City’s new action plan. This is a comprehensive, 10-year roadmap that builds on recent progress, lays out short-term achievable goals and serves as a guide for long-term success. The City Council adopted the plan in October 2019.

The plan recommended the creation of the Leadership Council to provide for cross-agency collaboration, alignment of resources toward systems-level thinking and accountability. The Leadership Council will review progress, problem-solve when challenges arise, identify funding and resources for implementation, and create an appropriate level of both accountability and insulation from political issues.

The development of the plan included the creation of a Steering Committee that consisted of key staff members from major funding and policy-making agencies in the City. The Steering Committee included Keely Halsey, Chief of Homelessness Strategies & Housing Liaison for Mayor Faulconer; Molly Chase, Chief of Staff for Councilmember Ward; Tamera Kohler, Chief Executive Officer of the RTFH; and Lisa Jones, Senior Vice President of Homeless Housing Innovations for SDHC. This group now serves as the staff implementation team to carry out the detailed actions within the plan.

For more information about the Leadership Council’s inaugural meeting, view the memo released by the Implementation Team.

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