Supervisor Lawson-Remer: ‘We’re Going Lift the Hood on the Homeless System’

News Date

Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer and the County Board of Supervisors took action today to bring more accountability and oversight to the region’s response to the homelessness crisis. Today’s action aligns with Supervisor Lawson-Remer’s continued focus on data-driven decision-making as she was the author of the County’s policy to create the first anywhere San Diego County’s Office of Evaluation, Performance and Analytics. 

“We’re going to lift the hood to see how the system to respond to homelessness is working, because in order to tackle this crisis we need a well-oiled machine,” said Supervisor Lawson-Remer, Vice Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “This assessment will bring more accountability, oversight and transparency to the region’s homelessness response. We have to ensure every dollar is being used in the most effective way possible and getting us closer to the goal of homelessness being brief and rare in San Diego County.”

At the recommendation of Chairwoman Nora Vargas, the Board voted for a comprehensive assessment of County homelessness efforts. This will include County contracts related to homelessness,  contract performance measures with third parties, programs and services administered by the County, staffing services dedicated to serving unsheltered individuals,  and current collaborations with homeless providers and all 18 cities in the region. 

The assessment aims to review dedicated resources and staffing, identify gaps in County services, offer best practices and solutions on how to streamline, provide recommendations on County contracts and performance measures related to homelessness, and strengthen homelessness collaborations the County has with homeless providers and city jurisdictions across the region.

The most recent Point in Time Count identified 10,264 individuals living on the streets, in vehicles, or in shelters  throughout San Diego County. 

The next step is for the County’s Chief Administrative Officer to seek bids for a consultant to conduct this enterprise-wide assessment of all contracts, programs, and services the County of San Diego provides to prevent, address, and end homelessness. 

Under this Board, the County has taken increased action on the homelessness crisis. In April 2021, the Board approved the creation of the Department of Homeless Solutions and Equitable Communities to streamline services for those in need. In November 2021, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Framework for Ending Homelessness, which anchored the County’s response to this crisis to five areas: root causes and prevention; diversion and mitigation; services, treatment and outreach; emergency/interim housing and resources; and permanent housing and support. In September 2022, the Board declared homelessness a public health crisis. The County has also made significant investments, including hotel vouchers, homeless diversion programs, and increased funding for affordable and permanent supportive housing. More information can be found here.