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San Diego City Council supports Faulconer's $4.1M plan for homelessness

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Posted at 5:07 PM, Apr 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-25 20:10:29-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Mayor Kevin Faulconer's plan to support homeless services now has the backing of the City Council.

The San Diego City Council approved the mayor's proposal to invest $4.1 million in federal grants to alleviating the city's homeless crisis. The money will be used to toward support services and projects to reduce homelessness.

"This will support effective programs and vital services that can help someone without shelter get back on their feet," Mayor Faulconer said.

RELATED: Father Joe's Villages propose plan to turn motel units into housing for homeless

About $2.8 million will support projects including the San Diego Misdemeanants At-Risk Track pilot program, adding showers and restrooms to the Neil Good Day Center, and laundry facilities.

Another $1.3 million will go toward some existing programs including Connections Housing, the Cortez Hill Family Center, and interim housing.

The city said it receives "community development block grants" from the federal government annually to provide similar services.

Just this month, Mayor Faulconer touted a ballot measure that would increase hotel room taxes, known as the Transient Occupancy Tax. The proposal estimates about $10 million would go toward programs addressing homelessness every year, with the income growing as tourism increases.

"This ballot measure will create jobs, fix streets and help reduce homelessness in our city," Faulconer said at the beginning of the month.

RELATED: Mayor proposes hotel tax hike to fund convention center expansion, homelessness solutions

The measure to place it on a November special election ballot was unanimously approved by a council committee two days later. It's scheduled to go before the full council for a vote in June.

In the Mayor's annual State of the City address last January, he called on the council to approve his plans for new low and medium income housing. He also called on local businesses and leaders to come together to help address homelessness in the region.

“We must make reducing homelessness our region’s number one social service priority,” Mayor Faulconer said. 

RELATED: Mayor to tackle costly housing, homeless crisis

Following the speech, City Councilmember David Alvarez echoed the Mayor's sentiments on the issue.

"The Mayor must create new shelter space downtown near existing service providers to allow for people to sleep indoors rather than camp on the street. If he does not do this, the homeless population will continue to grow in downtown and throughout the City," Councilmember Alvarez said in a statement.