Today, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a pivotal Board letter I brought forward, dedicated to aiding individuals who are actively working in recovery to overcome addiction and are now seeking stable housing. This legislation is a crucial step toward assisting our homeless population, and I am grateful for the support of my colleagues as we work to help people off the streets.
In San Diego County, there are approximately 900 individuals engaged in outpatient treatment for addiction recovery while grappling with homelessness. These resilient individuals demonstrate commitment by actively participating in meetings, adhering to regular testing, and exerting tremendous effort in their journey toward recovery. Over one-third of San Diego’s homeless population struggles with a substance use disorder linked to addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.
The primary focus of this legislation is to expand the provision of sober living homes within San Diego County. As an initial step, we aim to provide housing for 100 homeless individuals in North County. If successful, we intend to extend this crucial assistance to all homeless individuals navigating addiction recovery throughout the county.
The reality for those living on the streets is the pervasive presence of drugs and alcohol, posing an immense challenge to maintaining sobriety. We should prioritize these individuals, recognizing their significant potential for success. This initiative isn’t a “housing first” approach; instead, it’s a “housing second” strategy—providing a secure and stable home post-achievement of sobriety to support them in regaining stability.
As one of the most prosperous counties in history, the sight of thousands of individuals living on our streets is unacceptable. We must do better, and today’s vote marks a critical step in the right direction.