Being Homeless Sticks With You

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On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes Jim Harris, President of the University of San Diego. Jim shares that his passion for helping those experiencing poverty came from hearing his parent's stories of growing up during the Great Depression, and how he even experienced his own bout of homelessness in college when he was forced to live out of his car.

Greg and Jim also discuss what USD is doing surrounding the issue of homelessness in San Diego, how the trauma and fear one experiences while being homeless is life-long, and what those who are looking to help those in need can do to truly make a difference.

Building Houses For The Homeless

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On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by Ginger Hitzke, low-income housing developer and owner of Hitzke Development Corporation. With a long-standing passion for helping the homeless, Ginger and her team build affordable housing units across San Diego County, as well as supportive housing units for formerly homeless individuals looking to get rehoused.

Ginger also introduces her guest, friend, and co-worker Carol: a San Diego native who found herself homeless for the first time earlier this year. Carol shares her physical and emotional struggles with homelessness, and details how she received multiple tickets for "illegal lodging" while laying down in a sleeping bag behind Home Depot. Carol and Ginger also recount their journey from strangers, to friends, to colleagues and how today, Ginger is living and working at a Hitzke Development property in Lemon Grove with what she calls a second chance at life.

Calls to Action:

  • Reach out to your local elected officials to advocate for more housing in your city; set a calendar reminder for March 1st and send them an email

  • Support local measures that create more affordable housing

  • Donate in-kind items to organizations such as Crisis House and Interfaith Community Services (click here for a current “needs list”)

No Veteran Should Live On The Street

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Phillip Army Veteran Homeless in San Diego Interfaith.jpg

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by colleague Mitchell Snow, Case Manager for Homeless Veterans at Interfaith. Mitchell shares with listeners his path from Interfaith volunteer, to intern, to staff person and how earning his Masters in Social Work from USC defined his life's work helping homeless veterans move off of the streets, into transitional housing, and eventually into homes of their own.

Mitchell then introduces Phillip, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam during the 1970's. Phillip shares with listeners his journey transitioning into civilian life, the struggles he faced after becoming incarcerated, and how he has maintained hope through all of life's ups and downs.

Calls to Action:

Helping the Homeless This Holiday Season

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On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by Micki Hickox, Volunteer Services Manager, at Interfaith. Micki shares with Greg how her late grandmother instilled in her a passion for volunteerism at a young age, how she works as a "matchmaker" for volunteers, and how those looking to get involved this holiday season can make a difference in the lives of individuals and families.

Calls to Action:

  • Consider making a monetary gift! On our website, you can dictate to which program you would like your contribution to go, or you can let us know to use your gift where it is needed most.

  • Donate a gift card to an individual or family in need! Gift cards can either be used to supplement Adopt a Family gift bags, or can be passed out to our intake clients during the holiday season.

  • Visit our website to check out a complete listing of both Individual and Group Volunteer Opportunities!

'Voices of Our City' Choir Shines Spotlight on Homelessness

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by John Brady, Production Manager of the Voices of Our City choir. Voices of our City serves as a space for mutual aid and community building, as well as giving voice to San Diego's homeless community, past and present. The choir showcases the abilities and powerful potential of every individual, and provides a positive sense of community and solidarity for people facing extreme hardships and their neighbors.

John shares with Greg his own experience with homelessness and how he was connected to the choir, as well as details the stories of his fellow choir members - some of whom continue to live on the streets today.

To support Voices of Our City, please visit their website or attend their annual Holiday Party by clicking here.

Calls to Action:

Tickets & Fines Can Devastate the Homeless

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On this episode of ‘Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,’ host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by Public Defender Terri Peters from the County of San Diego. Greg and Terri also welcome Tom Christie, Homeless Court Advocate with Interfaith Community Services, to discuss the Homeless Court Program and how it works with our local homeless population to dismiss fines in order to get their drivers licenses restored, garnishes lifted, and provide them access to a variety of other benefits.

Terri and Tom then share the stories of some of their clients they have worked with on getting cases dismissed, as well as list the many ways the public can get involved with the Homeless Court Program.

Calls to Action:

  • If you are homeless and need assistance in getting your fines cleared, please access the Homeless Court Program! You can learn more by clicking here, or by visiting Interfaith Community Services on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays to meet with Tom and our Homeless Court volunteers.

  • If you are a nonprofit organization and are interested in becoming a Homeless Court Service Provider, please click here.

  • If you would like to volunteer with the Homeless Court program, please click here. Opportunities with Homeless Court are under the “Individual Opportunities” tab. You can also email Tom if you would like to volunteer for the North County Stand Down event on February 7th - 10th, 2019 in Vista.

  • Support law enforcement teams like the Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) in Oceanside who are embedding social workers and social services into their practices. To learn more about Oceanside HOT, please click here or listen to our earlier episode with Office Josh Ferry of the Oceanside Police Department.

It's Hard to Learn When You Don't Have a Home

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On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by Erin Spiewak, CEO of the Monarch School, a K-12 school for homeless students in San Diego. With over 2,300 homeless students across the County, Monarch School serves 300-500 students without a place to call home each school year out of their Barrio Logan campus.

Erin shares with Greg her journey with the Monarch School starting as a volunteer, about how motherhood has affected her emotional connection to her work, and truly how important helping our homeless students succeed in the classroom is.

Calls to Action:

  • Support the Monarch School! To view their donation wish list, please click here.

  • School staff: Be attentive to the needs of your homeless students. It’s hard to learn when you’ve slept in the back of a car, or skipped breakfast. Bring awareness to your school site, and ask your administrators how your team can best support these students.

  • Like Erin mentioned, the San Diego County Office of Education has Homeless Education Services available. To learn more, please click here.

  • Finally, to read Erin’s colleague Michael Gaulden’s book on his experiences with homelessness, please click here.

This Could Happen To You

On this episode of ‘Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,’ host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes Stacey Proctor, Executive Director of Operation Hope Vista, to the podcast. Founded in 2003, Operation Hope Vista runs a 90-day intensive case management shelter program for women and families with children in Vista, CA and serves a real niche in the community as one of the few shelters available for families and single parents with kids.

Stacey also intriduces Faith, a client of Operaiton Hope Vista, who currently lives in the shelter with her 12-year old daughter. Faith shares with listeners her journey of being a very successful professional to living on the streets after enduring a series of setbacks over the course of the last year. She explains to Greg how families are often the “hidden homeless” that are difficult to identify, as well as a few compelling calls to action for those looking to make a difference in the homeless community.

Calls to Action:

  • Organizations like Operation Hope Vista are always in need of both financial support, as well as in-kind goods such as dry food, sack lunch supplies, paper goods, and more. Get in touch with them by clicking here to make your donation today.

  • In addition, this time of year Operation Hope Vista is also collecting items that can be given as holiday gifts this giving season. Items needed include gift cards, toys, clothing, and more. To get involved with holiday gift giving, please click here.

  • As Stacey mentioned, your local business or organization can help the Faith’s of the world by giving them a chance at either employment or an internship! If you have an open position at your employer that you believe Faith would be a good fit for, please let Stacey know.

Remember Where You Came From

 From left to right: Laura, Bernie, and Greg sit down in the ‘Homeless in San Diego’ studio

From left to right: Laura, Bernie, and Greg sit down in the ‘Homeless in San Diego’ studio

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes Bernie Miles from Episcopal Community Services. After 32 years of working in the nonprofit sector, Bernie shares his views on the root causes of homelessness, as well as the crucial services he delivers by working with ECS' "Friend to Friend" program, which serves local homeless individuals living with mental illness.

Bernie then introduces Greg to his former client Laura, who endured homelessness for eight years before being placed into permanent housing with the help of the "Friend to Friend" program. Laura discusses her personal experiences of living on the street and shares how she coped with disrespect, shame, mental illness, and extreme sleep deprivation without a roof over her head.

Calls to Action:

  • Like Laura said, donations to organizations advocating for the homeless really make a difference. Find an agency working to not only get individuals off the street, but also continue to support them once they are in housing. Visit 2-1-1 to browse the local organizations currently working towards ending homelessness & support both Episcopal Community Services and Interfaith Community Services.

  • Like Bernie said, care for people. So much of what Laura endured came down to the shame & disrespect she felt while homeless.

  • If you want to see more people moving off of the street, make a change. Advocate, vote, and help make changes by taking action.

  • Demand more permanent supportive housing programs from your elected officials. Not sure where to start? A list of San Diego City council Members can be found by clicking here.

To learn more about Episcopal Community Services and to support their work, please click here.

Advocating for Change with Nathan Fletcher

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes Nathan Fletcher, candidate for County Board of Supervisors. Nathan discusses his personal experiences with homelessness, including the stories of several friends and colleagues who have found themselves living on the streets following military service, divorce, the market crash of 2008, and substance use. Nathan also shares with Greg his plans to help the homeless crisis should he be elected, and how his dedication to service came from his upbringing and mother's work as a crime victim's advocate.

To learn more about Nathan Fletcher and his campaign platform, listeners are invited to visit nathanfletcher.com or call 858-249-8233.

Calls to Action:

Disclaimer: Homeless in San Diego is a neutral, safe space for all to share their perspectives on homelessness across the region. Neither the podcast, nor Interfaith Community Services, endorses political candidates. As of publishing this episode, additional candidates have been invited to co-host the podcast, however no responses have been received.