It's no secret that homelessness is the most pressing issue in our state and county. While we are undoubtedly one of the most prosperous countries in human history, the sight of thousands of individuals living on our streets remains unacceptable. We can and must do better.
One of the biggest challenges facing those living on the streets is the burden of drug and alcohol addiction. Over a third of San Diego's homeless population struggles with a substance use disorder involving addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. At our last Board of Supervisors meeting we 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.
In San Diego County, there are approximately 900 individuals currently engaged in outpatient treatment for addiction recovery but remain homeless. These individuals diligently attend meetings, undergo regular testing, and exert tremendous effort toward their recovery journey.
The legislation aims to amplify the provision of sober living homes in San Diego County. Our initial step will involve providing housing for 100 homeless individuals in North County. If successful, we plan to extend this assistance to all homeless individuals in addiction recovery across the entire county.
Living on the streets, surrounded by the prevalent presence of drugs and alcohol, poses a formidable challenge to maintaining sobriety. It is imperative that we prioritize these individuals, as they possess a significant chance of success. This initiative is not housing first; it is housing second, providing a secure and stable home post-achievement of sobriety to aid them in regaining their footing.
I will keep you updated about our progress in this endeavor and sincerely hope to have your support for this crucial item. Together, we can work towards a San Diego where each community member can have a fresh start and a brighter future.