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Downtown San Diego Registry Week

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Downtown San Diego Partnership Surveys Downtown Homeless Population

More than 240 volunteers — including 180 volunteers who went out onto the streets as part of 30 survey teams — participated in the Downtown San Diego Registry Week last month to identify to identify the most vulnerable homeless individuals sleeping on the streets. Registry Week has been a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Downtown San Diego Partnership and Centre City Development Corp., in partnership with the United Way of San Diego County, the county of San Diego, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the San Diego Housing Commission.
The public partners are working together to provide the resources for housing and services for 125 homeless individuals identified who are extremely vulnerable so that we can move these people into permanent supportive housing in the very near future.
The Downtown San Diego Partnership teamed up with the nationally renowned organization Common Ground and its 100,000 Homes Campaign. The program has become a national model for reducing homelessness in major urban metropolitan areas, including New York’s Times Square.
The teams of volunteer surveyors systematically canvassed the streets of Downtown San Diego, making contact with more than 1,040 homeless persons, nearly 740 of whom participated in a survey that used Common Ground’s Vulnerability Index to create a by-name list of individuals at a higher risk than others for dying if they remain on the streets.

Robin Munro, attorney at Prairie Schwartz Heidel LLP and member of the Downtown San Diego Partnership board of directors, was chair of the leadership team.

Jennifer LeSar, president of LeSar Development Consultants, was Registry Week coordinator.

Analysis of the Results (Partial):
• 738 (71 percent) individuals experiencing street homelessness were identified and surveyed in 450 blocks of Downtown San Diego.
• 275 (37 percent) were found to have health conditions associated with a high mortality risk.
• More than 240 community volunteers helped administer the surveys, enter data and coordinate at volunteer headquarters.
• 556 (71 percent) people allowed their photo to be taken.
Older Adults:
• 187 (25 percent) are over 55 years old.
• The oldest respondent was 84 years old.
• 56 (8 percent) are currently eligible for HUD 202 senior housing based on being 62 years of age.
Years Homeless and Age:
• The average years homeless fo the vulnerable population is eight and the average age is 45.
• The average years homeless for the non-vulnerable population is four years and average age is 52.
Service Needs:
• 218 (30 percent) people reported a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance abuse.
• 245 (33 percent) people reported a   history of substance abuse alone.
• 95 (13 percent) people reported signs or symptoms of mental illness alone.
• 558 (76 percent) respondents report at least one behavioral health issue.
• 183 (25 percent) surveyed were veterans. 72 percent reported being honorably discharged.
• 77 are vulnerable and 58 of the vulnerable veterans reported being honorable discharged.

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