Think San Diego

Think San Diego is a site dedicated to the concerns of San Diego. Keeping track of the economic, social, spiritual, political and environmental health of the city while also looking at arts & entertainment, music & concerts, media as well as other areas to keep you informed about what’s going on with and in San Diego.

Funding for Homelessness

San Diego County will receive $1,312,752 in federal funds to assist local emergency food and shelter programs throughout the county. A local board convened by the United Way of San Diego County and made up of 20 governmental and non-governmental members has allocated funding towards the following programs:

1) Group Shelter, including Seasonal, Day, Case Managed, and Shelter Voucher
2) Food- Supplemental (pantry) & Congregate (served)
3) Rent & Mortgage and Utilities Assistance

Catholic Charities will provide the fiscal administration of the funds on behalf of the local board.

The information below details eligibility and application information for each of the programs.

1) Group Shelter

To be eligible for group shelter funds, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

• Non-profit, tax-exempt status
• Recent history/track records of providing emergency shelter services within the last two calendar years
• Complies with fire, safety and health standards
• No religious rituals or requirements attached to receipt of services
• No individual, family, or household may be charged a fee for service with relation to assistance received under EFSP
• Funds can only be used to serve the homeless in general rather than targeted groups (gender, age and family composition are not considered targeted groups)
• Compliance with local and state zoning requirements

To apply for group shelter funds, it is required that your organization attends application training. Trainings will be held on Monday, January 29, 2007 and Wednesday, January 31, 2007. Contact Marion Keller at to RSVP and for location details.

2) Congregate & Supplemental Food

The funds for Congregate Food are for food and limited amounts of consumable supplies essential to mass feeding (plastic cups, utensils, detergent, etc.). The funding is intended to provide for daily, basic, nutritional meal costs on an ongoing basis. If you are awarded funding for your congregate food program, payments will only be made to vendors, not to your agency.

The funds for Supplemental Food are used to purchase pantry items such as: beef stew, peanut butter, green beans, canned tuna and baked beans. Agencies can apply to be allocated a certain amount of food items for their pantry program.

Eligibility requirements for both food programs are as follows: organizations must have non-profit status for at least one year; have a functioning board; have an established accounting system; conduct annual audits; provide non-discriminatory assistance to needy individuals in the organization’s zip code (Note: if you have clientele requirements or restrictions, such as age, you do not qualify); demonstrate ability to deliver said program; and provide case management or referrals to case management agencies.

To receive an application, please e-mail Nani Oesterle- or call 858-636-4178. In addition, application training will be available for organizations to receive technical assistance:

EFSP Congregate and Supplemental Food Technical Assistance (TA) Workshop
DATE: January 30, 2007
TIME: 9:00 – 10:00 AM
LOCATION: Alpha Behavioral Health Services
4069 30th Street (Upstairs Conference Room)
New applicants are required to attend; previous applicants are encouraged. Applications may be obtained at this training. Please RSVP to: Scott Suckow at

3) Rent & Mortgage

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program provides assistance to individuals or families who are in danger of losing their residence. Limited emergency rent, mortgage, and water utility assistance is afforded for individuals or families provided certain criteria are met as established both nationally and locally. Agencies interested in participating in this program must attend a mandatory training. The training will be Wednesday, February 7th from 9:30 am-3:00 pm at the United Way. You must contact Mary Ryan ( or Ruby Featherly ( to RSVP in advance.

For any additional questions or information on the EFSP Board, please contact Nani Au Oesterle at the United Way of San Diego County at or 858-636-4178.

We need your help

With the holidays coming up, many people are looking for places and ways to serve the homeless. With this in mind, we hope to connect people with services and opportunities to help the homeless in the San Diego area. If you know of a program or ministry that should be featured, feel free to leave a comment here and we’ll look into it. Also, if you know of useful or interesting articles that relate to homelessness, we’d love to hear about it. If you run a ministry or program for the homeless (or just have a heart for it) we are also looking for people who can contribute articles to our site.


image courtesy of Economic Roundtable.