By Chris Ward | District 3 Update
In August, city and regional leaders joined me to highlight a significant gap in our system of care for homeless San Diegans: the lack of recuperative care facilities and medical respite beds in both the city of San Diego and San Diego county.
The challenges created by mental health issues, substance abuse, injury and chronic illness are the most difficult barriers to address when attempting to assist and move homeless individuals into a stable, safe environment.
Recuperative care facilities offer specialized care, recovery, and assistance to homeless individuals who are too vulnerable to properly recover from injury on our streets but are not ill enough to require intensive hospital inpatient services. These facilities allow individuals the opportunity to rest in a safe environment while accessing medical care, housing navigation and supportive services.
Our communities are in desperate need of facilities and systems that are equipped to meet the level of care that is required to assist our vulnerable homeless population. Currently in the entire county, there are only 73 recuperative care beds, 41 of which are in the city. With a homeless population that is aging and struggling with chronic health conditions, physical disability, and/or mental health issues, our region would objectively benefit from an investment in additional recuperative care facilities.
Embracing a Housing First approach by responsibly investing in recuperative care treatment and facilities will provide homeless individuals — who are often the most challenging patients to treat — a clean, safe place to recover and connect with homeless services.
In my capacity as Chair of the Select Committee on Homelessness and Vice Chair of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, I will be working to highlight and discuss this need, both in the city and the county.
For more information on this important issue, please contact Brittany Bailey, my community liaison for Uptown. at 619-236-6633 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Councilmember Chris Ward serves the 13 communities in District 3, which include the Uptown neighborhoods of Old Town, Mission Hills, Hillcrest, University Heights, North Park, South Park, Normal Heights, Bankers Hill and others.