Transients in the South Bay will be able to get onsite medical care, haircuts, showers, food and other services they may need at the South Bay Homeless Advocacy Coalition’s second annual South Bay Homeless Connect event in Chula Vista.
Last year, 85 homeless individuals showed up to the event, this year, said project coordinator Angelica Davis, organizers are aiming for 100.
“We were very surprised it was successful,” Davis said referring to last year’s outreach. “We were very pleased with the outcome.”
The event stemmed from the booming homeless population that the South Bay has recently seen.
“We’ve seen a huge increase, overall in California, but Chula Vista has seen an increase of homelessness,” Davis said.
Davis said she does not know the exact reason for the increase, but she said that recent development in San Diego might have something to do with it. She said the development in San Diego moved transients to the South Bay.
Davis said the event is volunteer- and donation-driven so there isn’t much of a cost to put on the event. She said the only money spent on the event is for pizza, which is provided for lunch by the South Bay Homeless Advocacy Coalition.
Sixty to 80 volunteers are scheduled to help the homeless at this event.
She said providing preventive care and medical care now could reap cost savings in the future by reducing the number of emergency visits in hospital rooms.
The services that are offered really give the homeless some dignity, Davis said,
“They really are a different person just by a simple shower and a haircut,” she said.
Davis said at last year’s event homeless individuals showed up with their heads down, and left smiling and happy once they got the services they needed.
Services provided include social service benefits, housing and employment services.
Lunches as well as a goody bag filled with snacks will be given to the homeless.
Hygiene packs that include toothbrushes and deodorant will also be given out.
Davis said at the beginning of the month Chula Vista employees from all the departments held a sweatshirt drive in which the clothing will be given to the homeless in attendance at the event.
This event is held in November because it is in the beginning of the cold season and coincides with National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Davis said.
Bella’s Academy in National City will be giving the haircuts while San Diego Family Health Centers provide medical attention.
Parkway Gym is opening its facility so homeless individuals can use the showers.
Davis said she knows that the event is not the solution to solving homelessness but she said the problem should still be addressed.
“We can’t fix the problem, but we can we can at least make it better,” she said.
The event will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at Parkway Recreation Center, located at 385 Park Way. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The South Bay Homeless Advocacy Coalition raises awareness on homelessness in the South Bay and brings resources to the homeless.