"HOUSING FIRST" WORKS

In response to "Cold and wet can be life threatening," [Jan. 6] by Ron Donoho at CityBeat:

San Diego has long relied on emergency shelters and temporary housing to solve homelessness without much success. Following the lead of many successful communities across the country, San Diego is changing to a "housing first" system, where we invest more in quickly getting people access to permanent housing vs. temporary housing. Continually being in temporary housing—where people have to check in and out at a certain time each day, and never get a chance to be settled and secure—is a sure detriment to finding and keeping a job and any stability in their life.

The previous use of the winter tents, while beneficial in helping people temporarily escape inclement weather, was not cost effective and did little toward the goal of solving homelessness.

The shift to an interim housing facility—where people can access the system year-round—was the right move. Sheltering people continually in temporary solutions will not reduce homelessness. The shift in city funding from the winter tent to the year-round interim housing also freed up HUD funding to create additional rapid rehousing, an intervention that solves homelessness for people with a success rate of more than 70 percent (data collected from Oct. 1, 2014, through Sept. 30, 2015, San Diego Regional Continuum of Care) compared to the winter tent success rate of 26 percent (Father Joe's Villages).

Long-term homelessness is also life threatening. I applaud the city's move to investing in permanent solutions that will solve homelessness and save lives.

Michael McConnell,
Downtown San Diego


CHOKED UP

I started to read Aaryn Belfer's Backwards & In High Heels column ["Goodbye to all that in 2016," Jan. 6] and when I read number one on her list I nearly choked. Liberal people like her keep spreading this BS about the police assaults and as you call state-sanctioned murder. She is an idiot scumbag. What a bunch of bullshit. The police are the only line of defense against the "animals" out there. Hope she never needs police help against those animals.

Bob Ling,
Downtown San Diego

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