Project delivers on San Diego Mayor’s Housing First policy goals.
Last summer, City of San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Falcouner and the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) announced an ambitious plan to create supportive housing opportunities for over 3,000 homeless individuals and families over the next three fiscal years.
Rooted in the national “housing first” model to address homelessness, Mayor Faulconer’s plan expedites housing for homeless individuals, coupled with supportive services as needed. A report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development highlights the effectiveness of the approach and details how the housing first model results in long-term housing stability, improved physical and behavioral health, improved incomes and reduced use of crisis services such as emergency departments, hospitals and jails.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness defines the housing first model as, “a homeless assistance approach that prioritizes providing permanent housing to people experiencing homelessness, thus ending their homelessness and serving as a platform from which they can pursue personal goals and improve their quality of life. This approach is guided by the belief that people need basic necessities like food and a place to live before attending to anything less critical, such as getting a job, budgeting properly, or attending to substance use issues. Additionally, Housing First is based on the theory that client choice is valuable in housing selection and supportive service participation, and that exercising that choice is likely to make a client more successful in remaining housed and improving their life.”
Under the new housing plan, the city of San Diego is investing resources to build new housing developments for homeless individuals and families transitioning into permanent housing. The Beacon Apartments, a major downtown development that meets housing first principles, initiated construction in April and is scheduled to be completed in September 2019. Acquired by nonprofit affordable housing developer Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation and managed by local construction management firm KCM Group, the new supportive housing community will provide 44 homes for homeless individuals and families. The development will also replace a transitional living facility, expected to help alleviate San Diego’s growing need for longer-term supportive housing.
“We believe supportive housing is vital to building strong communities in San Diego,” said KCM Group President Gordon Kovtun. “It’s socially rewarding to work alongside Wakeland in creating sustainable housing solutions for homeless individuals and families in our community.”
“Over Wakeland’s 20-year history, it has been our mission to create housing that addresses the unique needs of the communities in which we work,” said Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation CEO Ken Sauder. “We look forward to opening the doors of The Beacon Apartments so people can benefit from supporting housing in San Diego and finally have a home of their own where they can live stable, productive lives.”