City officials and local organizations team up to help Hillcrest's homeless problem

Connect Hillcrest

County and city officials have partnered with numerous local organizations to create a larger outreach plan that will work to alleviate Hillcrest's homeless population.

The alliance of partners, Connect Hillcrest, is comprised of various local organizations, including the San Diego Housing Commission, the San Diego Police Department, Father Joe’s Villages and the Regional Task Force on the Homeless. The program will connect homeless residents with opportunities for stable housing.

Even if homeless residents are not ready to transition into housing, the initiative will still serve to provide them with basic necessities, such as health insurance, food assistance, medical care and other social services.

"If we all come together and stay focused over the course of a month — can we link more folks really into housing and supports and off the streets?" said San Diego County Health and Human Service Director Nick Macchione. "And so the issue is they may not be ready to be housed — but they may be ready to go to a clinic, go to a center and get some services."

The 'Connect Hillcrest' announcement came only day after City Councilman Chris Ward (also involved in Connect Hillcrest) launched a similar program for homeless residents in North Park and City Heights. Last year’s San Diego homeless count estimated the county’s homeless population at roughly 5,000.

In a month, San Diego officials will determine whether the outreach program can be expanded or replicated in other areas of need.

ANDY INTERNETS