A Home Without Wheels
Carolyn first became homeless 10 years ago, spending the entire time in the City of Oceanside. While homeless, Carolyn used her vehicle to escape the elements and would sleep in the driver's seat of her car along with all of her possessions. Beginning in January of 2016, Clifford Morris, Outreach Coordinator from Alpha Project assessed Carolyn's need for supportive services utilizing the Common Assessment Tool (VI-SPDAT). This was Carolyn's first engagement with the Coordinated Entry System, and she was eventually connected with Oceanside's Homeless Outreach Team officers, Joshua Ferry and Lonny Harper. Despite being connected to some resources, Carolyn was experiencing compounding medical problems and was frequently in and out of the hospital. Her health was declining, and she needed urgent intervention.
In June of 2017, Valentina Heather, a Housing Navigator with the RTFH, began working with Carolyn to help guide her through the Coordinated Entry System and work with her to obtain permanent housing. A housing resource became available through Oceanside's Public Housing Authority and Carolyn was quickly matched to this project. Despite having a housing voucher, the next big hurdle would be finding a landlord willing to accept the subsidy. It took a community effort to help Carolyn locate a potential housing opportunity through Oceanside's newest housing development, Mission Cover Senior Apartments. With some additional assistance from another community partner, Community Resource Center, Carolyn was able to secure a new apartment.
On June 27th, 2018, Carolyn signed her lease and got her keys for her new one bedroom apartment. Donations from Brother Bennos and Interfaith Community Services helped to furnish her gorgeous new apartment. Carolyn expressed, "This is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have been homeless for 10 years. Living in this apartment is going to get kind of hard to get used to. But this is my home and I'm thankful it doesn't have wheels anymore!"
Carolyn's story highlights how San Diego's Coordinated Entry System can be effective at shortening an individual's length of homelessness once engaged in our system. Through a coordinated effort with an array of service providers working together, a community was able to come together and end homelessness for one individual.