Shelter in Storms for County’s Homeless

Some 200 homeless people who are unsheltered on any given night in the County’s unincorporated areas will soon have access to a new hotel/motel voucher program during strong El Niño storms and life-threatening weather.

The County of San Diego Housing Authority Board of Commissioners voted Wednesday to approve the use of up to $100,000 to fund short-term housing on an as-needed basis for unsheltered homeless people and families who need protection from the elements.      

The 2015 Point-in-Time Count found more than 8,742 homeless people in the region. More than 4,000 of that number were unsheltered; 214 of them were found in the County’s unincorporated areas.  

The County, the City of San Diego and partner agencies developed a regional plan to provide temporary housing to the unsheltered during high-risk weather events. The Regional Continuum of Care Council approved it Jan. 21. Each of the 18 incorporated cities in the region can use the plan, which directs referrals for services through 2-1-1, to help shelter the homeless within their own jurisdiction during high-risk weather events. 

The Housing Authority Board’s action Wednesday will allow the County’s Department of Housing and Community Development to fund the hotel/motel voucher program. Funding will allow for an estimated 200 homeless people to stay up to three days in a hotel or motel during high-risk inclement weather along with transportation and referrals to homeless programs.

A non-profit service provider will run the County’s program and it is expected to be in operation by mid-February.  

RELATED: County Animal Services Provides Care to Pets of Homeless

Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact