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San Diego County to expand Live Well On Wheels program, have new bus dedicated to mobile homeless outreach

Posted at 8:48 AM, Apr 25, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – San Diego County officials are green-lighting the expansion of the Live Well on Wheels fleet, with the hopes of adding another bus to focus on mobile homeless outreach.

The vote to expand the program was unanimous by the Board of Supervisors on April 4.

“The fact that it really helps us provide direct services in the field so that people who are experiencing homelessness; really helping them obtain needed social services and housing supports. We get to partner with lots of great individuals and cities,” said Barbara Jimenez, head of the county’s Department of Homeless Solutions and Equitable Solutions.

One of those people is Dan Vaughn. He’s a part of the Faith in Action ministry at St. Andrews Church in Encinitas. Vaughn’s worked with the county in the past to bring the Live Well buses to the church for homeless outreach events.

“That’s a huge benefit, right? You could imagine any barrier to getting services is significant for all of us. But it’s much more so when you’re living on the street,” Vaughn said.

Those who are homeless could use the homeless outreach dedicated bus for a linty of resources.

“You can have someone walk away with an EBT card, an identification card that just makes a tremendous impact in many different ways,” Jimenez said.

Now, the county is looking to identify the funding to buy the new bus and then work with homeless advocacy groups on the design of it.

The homelessness crisis is clearly all over our county and our state, but having an additional tool to help those on the street can be a big help.

“Having the ability to really focus a vehicle and augment and amplify that work across the entire county, it’s an amazing opportunity,” Jimenez said.

“Being able to enroll these families in the programs that they’re entitled to, we can at least take some of the sting off of the suffering,” Vaughn said.