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Homeless funds a ‘gamechanger’ Anglea tells council


Interfaith Community Services CEO Greg Anglea took a moment at last week’s city council meeting to give members “good news.”

“Good news has been brought by the governor [Gavin Newsom,]” he said during public comments. “to spend $12 billion to help address homelessness.” He said $7 billion of that will go to Project Homekey, “Last year it was a tenth of that money. This can be used to buy hotels and covert into  them housing.”

San Diego, said Anglea, “created more than 400 units with one tenth of the money that is available. If we are able to multiply that, we are talking about 4,000 units, that is a gamechanger that is truly transformational.”

There’s a catch (there’s always a catch.) “The funding has to be applied for,” he said. “I know it’s on your radar, the opportunity we have to use state funds to purchase often blighted into healing and hope. Interfaith looks forward to working with you on this one time opportunity.”

The Times-Advocate asked Mayor Paul McNamara to give his comments on this new development. “Well, first and foremost, we’re very happy at the local level to see the governor continuing to acknowledge that this is a significant problem, and also to make available some pretty significant funding to bring about both change and solutions,” he said.  “Much of his focus is simply on housing and that is important.  At the local level, we’d also like to see more money available for some of our strategic initiatives, which you can find on our website dedicated to this topic at homelessness.escondido.org/

The mayor noted that, “These strategic initiatives call for more staffing to address on the street conditions with social workers and clinicians that are trained in addressing mental health and addiction.  We are working with both the County and our neighboring cities to encourage more attention and funding to the specific needs of the people that find themselves living on the streets.”

McNamara added, “I also appreciate that the governor called for accountability as to how we spend our funds on homelessness and transiency.  We need to start making smart decisions supported by data and actual conditions.  Our battle with this significant social problem is not going to be solved when we start with stereotypes as we develop strategies.  We need real data about the people, the conditions, and the needs.  The governor’s call for accountability is a great step in that direction.”

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