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Person-to-person homeless outreach effort begins in downtown San Diego

Posted at 11:49 AM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 21:36:38-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- With concerns growing over homeless encampments on city streets, dozens of teams made up of various nonprofit agencies gathered in downtown San Diego Monday morning to reach out to those who are homeless.

Hanan Scrapper, with the nonprofit People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), said the teams are passing out hygiene kits and will try to get to know the individuals they meet.

“It’s really one human at a time, getting to know them, and tailoring it to them based on their individual needs,” said Scrapper.

The goal of the outreach effort is to get those living on city streets into housing. As of right now, at the four shelters in San Diego, there are 250 beds that are available -- 150 for adults and 100 for families.

For one month, these teams will focus on their assigned areas really working to find out why these individuals ended up on the streets.

It’s a dilemma that hits close to home for San Diego City Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera, who said, “I was as close as you can be living on the streets as a law student I was living in my car. When I was in middle school my family went through some tough times. A hotel room or family’s couches was what was standing between us and the streets.”

Elo-Rivera, who represents District 9, said the challenge will be getting the trust to help get these individuals the help they need.

“At the end of the day, these are our neighbors, our family members, our friends. And they’re in a tough moment and if we lean in as a community to lift them up, we can end homelessness,” Elo-Rivera said.