Making it in San Diego: Housing program saves family from streets

Posted at 12:27 PM, Jul 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-10 21:05:00-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - April Owens recently overcame cancer, but jokes living in a home is a bigger achievement.

The 46-year-old and her family are off the streets after going through quite the ringer in recent times. In 2016, Owens was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and told it may too late beat it.

Owens began chemotherapy and she says about that time her husband starting using meth. “I had to make a choice,” said Owens, “I didn’t want them to grow up around that, but I had nowhere to go.”

She moved out with her three boys with little money and began living out of a tent at Lake Jennings.

“I figured we were going to have to move out of state because how am I gonna make it out here,” said Owens.

Her boys still went to school while they were homeless and were being teased by other kids for their situation.

A parents at her kid’s school heard about what the Owens were going through and got April in touch with Housing and Community Development Services.

“Before you know it was a whole bunch of families getting stuff for my family,” said Owens with her eyes watering, “there was a lot of people that had something to do with that but it takes footwork — you gotta do the footwork.”

April found out she qualified for thousands of dollars of aid from County Housing and Community Development Services.

Housing and Community Development Services has provided more than 100 homeless families with emergency housing through hotel and motel vouchers since October of 2017 More than 10,900 San Diego County households are on some form of rental subsidy program.

“People say oh calling 211 is no big deal — no, calling 211 helped me immensely,” said Owens, “they still call and check in on me.”

Those in participating in the county's rental assist programs should call 211 San Diego or click here.