Addressing homelessness is one of my top priorities. Every single day, we are getting people off the street, connected to services and on a path to securing permanent housing.  

Latest News

San Diego to Receive $29.9 Million to Address Homelessness 

The state of California’s Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention Program (HHAP) grant program is critical to our work helping people get off the street and into shelters and housing. 


I’m grateful to Gov. Gavin Newsom and the State Legislature for recognizing the value of San Diego’s homelessness programs by allocating the largest-ever HHAP award to the City this year $29.9 million to support our shelter, outreach and housing programs.  

We’re proposing using $4.5 million of the grant for existing prevention and shelter diversion programs; $17.4 million for interim housing options; and $3 million for street outreach. An additional nearly $3 million would fund interim housing for youth. 


This year’s allocation will help us continue to shelter thousands of San Diegans as we work to end their homelessness and prevent others from falling into it. 

The previous round of HHAP funding saw $22.5 million allocated for the City’s homelessness response. 


Since 2018, the City has relied on these grants for a significant increase in City-funded homeless services. That includes shelter bed expansion, safe parking programs, outreach and rapid-rehousing programs among others.  

California’s big cities have funded nearly 16,000 beds with HHAP dollars, including 1,700 in San Diego. The California Big City Mayors, a bipartisan coalition of mayors across California's 13 largest cities that I currently chair, has made advocating for ongoing, permanent funding for HHAP our top priority. 


This would enable cities to make longer-term plans knowing we can depend on this crucial funding to both prevent and end homelessness.   

Shelter Update

More On Our Plans for Homeless Services at H Barracks 

Last year, the City released our Comprehensive Shelter Strategy, which outlines short-, medium-, and long-term solutions to meeting the City’s shelter needs, identifying potential locations throughout San Diego. 


H Barracks was identified as a medium-term option, and we are currently exploring the options for activating homeless services on this vacant City-owned site.  


Any services at the site will be temporary in nature, as it's slated to become the permanent home for Pure Water recycling facilities in about five years. Site preparation for Pure Water, which includes demolition of old Navy buildings, is under way now and will be complete in the second half of this year.  

Homelessness is a crisis, and we have an obligation to consider using all vacant City land to help tackle this crisis and get as many people as we can off the streets and connected to safe shelter and services that will help end their homelessness. 

We're still early in the planning process, and more concrete details such as the type of shelter and site configuration, won’t become available for at least the next few months. What we do know now is that H Barracks will have the level of services and security that come with any City-provided homeless resource site. Things such as: 

  • Fencing, for privacy of clients on-site and the surrounding community 
  • Lighting 
  • Security stationed on-site and nearby patrols of surrounding areas 
  • Transportation to and from the site and to other services 
  • Code of conduct for clients, including no violence, weapons, drug or alcohol use onsite  
  • On-site services, such as mental health resources, substance abuse counseling, case management, housing navigation, healthcare and medical care assistance, veterinary care, IDs, assistance with Social Security or Disability payments, and the basics, such as meals, restrooms, utilities, laundry, and showers. 

This will be an enrolled, referral-based program only, meaning no walk-ups will be accepted. Individuals must be referred through an identified homeless services provider or San Diego Police officers who always offer shelter to people violating the Unsafe Camping Ordinance and/or encroachment laws. 

Projects like H Barracks are crucial in expanding the City’s shelter capacity, which then expands the City’s ability to enforce the Unsafe Camping Ordinance. Locations throughout the Peninsula that are currently experiencing issues with people sleeping in parks and on sidewalks near schools would see the benefit of this stepped-up enforcement. 


People who live, work and go to school near the H Barracks site are expressing concern about our plans; however, the City is confident that many of the concerns will be addressed in the setup and operation of the site.  

In the City’s Safe Sleeping sites located at the edge of Balboa Park, for example, proper security, site activation and coordination with stakeholders have successfully minimized impacts to tourism and local businesses.  


“Through engagement with the Mayor’s office and city departments, we were able to discuss how best to implement such a program,” says Peter Comiskey, who runs the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership. “Lot O was well executed by the City and is being well operated, with consideration for transportation to and from the site, active on-site management, and on-site services.”  

With H Barracks, early conversations to discuss security and resources have already occurred with members of the community as well as the Airport, the Port, nearby retail and hotel owners, and other tourism and economic stakeholders.

This engagement and coordination will continue over the next few months. As mentioned, the City is in the early stages of this project. There will be extensive public opportunities to engage on questions, concerns and project details in the coming months.

Road to Home

HUD and VA Award Nearly $895,000 to San Diego to Help Homeless Veterans Find Permanent Housing


San Diego just got a big boost from the federal government for our ongoing efforts to help homeless veterans and their families find permanent housing.  

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs awarded $14 million in HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers to 66 Public Housing Agencies across the country, including $894,210 in vouchers awarded to our San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC).  

We received 50 additional vouchers to help house veterans experiencing homelessness  the most awarded to any city in California. 

HUD is committed to ending veteran homelessness once and for all, and these HUD-VASH voucher awards help us reach that goal. 

The HUD-VASH program provides housing and an array of supportive services to veterans experiencing homelessness by combining rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  

Thanks to the joint efforts of HUD, VA, and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, the number of Veterans experiencing homelessness has fallen by 11% since early 2020 – the most significant decline in more than five years.  

Read more about the HUD-VASH program here.  

HUD and VA Award Nearly $895,000 to Connecting Unhoused People to Services in Mission Beach


Housing navigation, medical care, legal resources and a meal – those are just a few of the services that unsheltered residents could access at the City’s latest Community CARE event in Mission Beach.  

The City’s Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department hosts these multi-day events in different areas of the city during two weeks of every month. City staff bring together a host of social services with representatives from nonprofits, the City, County, State and Federal governments to help people end their homelessness. State ID cards can be made onsite, and people can access food benefits real-time.  

The City works with Health Care in Action, Father Joe’s and Family Health Centers for onsite medical care. And for the first time ever, the Veterans Administration’s mobile medical unit joined the resource fair, with services for U.S. veterans. At the CARE Events, access to medical care for pets is also available, along with behavioral health services. 

News Stories of Interest... 

Few homeless people have been detained under San Diego’s camping ban. The number prosecuted is even lower (San Diego Union-Tribune) 


Why California legislators of both parties want to ban homeless encampments (CalMatters) 


Historic San Diego Hotel Transformed into Homeless Housing (Affordable Housing Finance) 

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San Diego, CA 92101


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