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County supervisors OK steps to help homeless in unincorporated areas

 

Last updated 1/28/2020 at 1:43pm

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The Board of Supervisors today took steps toward helping homeless people in unincorporated regions of San Diego County.

The board unanimously approved proposals for an expanded motel voucher program, more homeless resource deputies and finding a property for temporary or permanent shelter where health services could also be offered.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob -- who along with Jim Desmond co-sponsored the measure -- said while homelessness is a complicated issue, "the item today gives us more frontline tools.''

According to county documents, the program is estimated to cost $5.6 million per year.

The board also directed Helen Robbins-Meyer, the county's chief administrative officer, to report back at the Feb. 25 meeting on how the program is going.

Desmond said it was important to "show compassion and strength'' when it comes to tackling homelessness, and that includes programs that help people lead healthier lives off the streets and strengthens law enforcement's ability to get people into special care.

Before voting, the board heard from people in support of the program, including two women said they're homeless and living in Lamar Park in San Diego.

Supervisor Kristin Gaspar told the women they were "strong, resilient people.''

"I want to walk beside you in this journey,'' Gaspar said. "I want to free you and give you the beautiful gift of your life back. For me, there are no more (bandages) -- we have to fix this.''

 

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