A Case for Fairness

Coleen and Greg at the studio

Coleen and Greg at the studio

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes Coleen Cusack. At her previous job, Coleen saw firsthand the legal obstacles endured by people experiencing homelessness. Today, she is a Criminal Defense Attorney who focuses on helping our homeless populations through the injustices they face.

As Coleen became actively aware of the laws around homelessness, she developed a unique perspective on the repercussions of these practices. Coleen believes that many of the policies in place do not take the right measures when it comes to helping the situation. So in an effort to legally affect change, she defends persons who are being charged in infractions court for unjust ordinances. Coleen is a prime example of someone who is fighting for social justice and equality in our community by setting precedents for large-scale legal change.

Call to Actions:

  • Join Coleen - Law students, professionals, and passionate individuals, please contact Coleen to get involved:

    Contact Coleen:

    ccusack.policy@gmail.com

We Are Just Here to Help Each Other

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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 Dennis Larkin. Dennis is a resident of Talmadge Gateway Apartments, an affordable housing development for seniors who have struggled with homelessness. From the partnership between Wakeland Housing & Development and St. Paul’s Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly, 60 residents are able to have a safe place to live independently.

Dennis has lived a long and eventful life. From helping flood victims in Thailand to becoming the founder of a successful drug and alcohol program, he truly has a lively spirit. Yet after his wife passed, he fell into a self-destructive lifestyle. He developed an alcohol problem and lost all financial stability. Things worsened so much that it led to him living out of his car and developing health problems. Fortunately, through Dennis’ own strength and the help of organizations such as Wakeland, he managed to secure a place at Talmadge as the 60th resident.

Call to Action:

Turning Everything Around

Dana, Greg, and Jo at the podcast studio

Dana, Greg, and Jo at the podcast studio

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes Dana and Jo. Dana is the founder and CEO of Leap to Success, an organization that works with women who are rebuilding their lives. Leap to Success connected with Jo at one of the lowest points in her life and supported her as she turned everything around.

Jo fell under hard times during the market crash. Having had an established job as a Finance Analyst with the Boeing Company, she was unfortunately caught in a series of tragic family events during that time and lost everything. In an incredible story of overcoming adversity, Jo’s struggle shows us that homelessness can affect anyone if they are hit with the wrong set of circumstances.

Calls to Action:

  • Access to More Housing – Encourage elected officials and private citizens to be part of the change to open the doors for people who need supportive services, whether it be in the public or private sector. Contact your representatives to voice your opinion.

  • Leap to Success – Learn about how they empower women in San Diego and be a part of that support by donating to their matching gift of up to $1,000. Learn more by visiting their website.

    Contact Dana to get involved: Dana@leaptosuccess.org

  • Think about the complexity – It is important to keep in mind that, whether it be advocates, institutions, or resources, there are many factors that need to be actively working for someone to find their way out of homelessness.

Go Out and Smile

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes Robert and Judy. Here to share their story of overcoming alcoholism, they actually have a special connection to our organization. Now happily married and successful business owners, once upon a time they first met at Interfaith!

Robert and Judy would have never imagined they would be in the position they are today. Years ago, Robert was suffering from alcoholism, caught up in the musician’s lifestyle, while Judy was a recent divorcee drinking away the pain of a failing marriage. After alcoholism severely crippled their life, they found a sense of peace and safety at Interfaith. They entered our addiction recovery services and graduated the programs; ensuring their path to regaining their lives. Now, fully sober and continuing their business ventures, they are enjoying life and awaiting Robert’s new position as a member on Interfaith’s board of directors. Glad to have you Robert!

Calls to Action:

  • Please give us a call at (760) 618-6811. We want to hear your messages about your good deeds. Tell us what you do to bring love to our world. We will be sharing those stories in future episodes.

  • See Us in Action : On June 12th, Interfaith will be celebrating our 40-year anniversary. In an effort to showcase our service center’s operations, we will be opening our doors to you for a walkthrough of our facilities. Learn more about our Appreciation Event on our website.

  • Detox Rocks: Make sure to go support Robert’s band The Blackouts at the 3rd Annual Detox Rocks Benefiting First Step House of North County.

  • Sungold Soaps: Learn more about Judy’s extraordinary hand-crafted soaps company by visiting their website.

  • Balloon Guru:  Learn more about Robert’s balloon company by visiting their website.

  • Get Involved: Volunteer your services to help those who need it most. Learn more about how you can volunteer by visiting our website.

  • Smile: Be kind. Reach out to your fellow neighbor. It may go a long way.

Sometimes You Need More Than Just a Shelter

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes Bill and returning guest, Lauren Pollick. This time around, Lauren, Shelters Program Manager at Interfaith, invites Bill to talk about his experience with our organization. Having endured a struggle that is familiar to many who have experienced homelessness, Bill’s story of addiction is an important lesson to learn from.

According to Bill, the grip that addiction has on you is a torturous one. Alcohol not only crippled his self-esteem, but also quite literally crippled his body. Bound to a walker and unable to take a step, it took the intervention of Interfaith’s Case Manager, Holly, to keep him alive. Fortunately, Bill was treated at a rehabilitation center just in time, but the true core of this story came right after. As he walked out of the hospital and willingly made his way back to Interfaith, he symbolically took the first and most important steps on the path to recovery: his own.

Now six months later, we are thankful to say that Bill is an anticipating graduate of our shelter programs with a place to call his own lined up… and at the age of 62 has returned to school. Now that’s what we call a lesson, folks.

Calls to Action:

  • Please give us a call at (760) 618-6811. We want to hear your messages about your good deeds. Tell us what you do to bring love to our world. We will be sharing those stories in future episodes.

  • It Takes a Village: Volunteer your services to help those who need it most. Learn more about how you can volunteer by visiting our website.

  • Believe in Change: A little support goes a long way. Bill was successful because we had faith in him. It may make the difference between someone continuing the cycle of homelessness or regaining their life.

  • Homeless Court: Interfaith has programs that could help you navigate the legal system or reduce/forgive legal fines. For more information about how you can receive this service, please call (760) 489-6380, and speak to our front desk staff.

Prescribing a Home: Health Beyond Healthcare

Dr. Patel, CEO of Neighborhood Healthcare, and host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, in the studio.

Dr. Patel, CEO of Neighborhood Healthcare, and host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, in the studio.

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes Dr. Patel, CEO of Neighborhood Healthcare. Going on 50 years, Neighborhood Healthcare provides medical, dental, and behavioral services to low-income patients.

Having completed missions around the world, Dr. Patel returned with a desire to provide medical care in the U.S. for those that need it the most. Early on, he served as staff family physician at Neighborhood Healthcare. Having realized his desire to help beyond a one on one basis, Dr. Patel worked his way up to CEO of the organization and quickly focused on integrating social services with their existing medical services. Now partnering with Interfaith Community Services to do just that, the two community leaders discuss their shared mission, passion, and partnership.

Calls to Action:

  • Help Get Senate Bill 66 Passed – Unfortunately, patients cannot currently be treated for medical and behavioral services on the same visit; making it particularly difficult for patients to be treated for their needs. In an effort to help decrease no-show rates, SB66 will help remove this barrier for patients. Call your local representatives to voice your support for SB66. 

    Please contact your representatives and learn more about Senate Bill 66.

  • Support Heath Centers – visit Neighborhood Healthcare’s website to see how you can support their community work.

  • See Us in Action – On June 12th, Interfaith will be celebrating our 40-year anniversary. In an effort to showcase our service center’s operations, we will be opening our doors to you for a walkthrough of our facilities. Learn more about our Appreciation Event on our website.

  • Do you have a story to tell? Have you experienced homelessness or relate to the field somehow? Reach out through our website. We’d love to have you on!

Homeless Youth, Hopeful Growth

Abrea and David in the podcast studio.

Abrea and David in the podcast studio.

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes Abrea Ponce and podcast alumnus David Baker. David and Abrea have dedicated their lives to helping homeless youth out of the difficulties they experienced first hand.

Having come from a variety of hardships, from being kicked out of her home at a young age, to entering the prison system right after, Abrea is now a Project Specialist at the Regional Task Force on the Homeless in San Diego. These experiences have redefined her perspective on many things and ultimately gave her new sense of purpose in helping homeless youth. It’s people like Abrea and David who show us that growth is truly possible and that the work being done to prevent these issues is in good hands.

Calls to Action:

  • Youth Listen up! – We need your voice to help with this movement. It is vital to ending youth homelessness that we solve these problems together.

  • Attend a Youth Advisory Board meeting

    Where: San Diego Youth Services in Point Loma - 3255 Wing St, San Diego, CA 92110.

    Date/Time: Every Thursday, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

    Come as you are; all are welcome. Stipends provided.

  • Contact David or Abrea directly if you need help

    David: (760) 519-4750.

    Abrea:  (619) 602-2006.

  • Provider Application – The Regional Task Force on Homeless has a Request for Proposal (RFP) out. Submit your proposal before June 30, to apply for funding for the following projects: Host Homes for Rapid Rehousing, Holistic Diversion/Prevention Services, Housing Navigators, and Youth Advisory Board.

  • Learn more about the Coordinated Community Plan.

  • Providers, learn more about the HUD's Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program.

  • Visit YMCA Youth and Family Services website and YMCA volunteer website for information on homeless youth prevention.

Love Thy Neighbor

Rabbi Castiglione and Greg Anglea at the recording studio

Rabbi Castiglione and Greg Anglea at the recording studio

On this special episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes Rabbi David Castiglione. Rabbi Castiglione is a board member of Interfaith and Rabbi of Temple Adat Shalom, where Interfaith first started 40 years ago. Here to shed light on the recent events in Chabad of Poway, Rabbi Castiglione and Greg hope to bring an alternative message against the negativity around these tragic events.

During the events at Chabad of Poway, Rabbi Castiglione and Greg were only a few blocks away attending morning services at Temple Adat Shalom. When word came in of the shooting, the meeting they were having about Interfaith’s work was interrupted and the discussion about the importance of looking after your fellow neighbor was stopped. Everyone was told that it was best to side with safety and leave, but in that moment, something rang in the hearts of the attended. In what Rabbi Castiglione could only call, “an affirmation of religion,” instead of leaving and looking after themselves, everyone decided to further discuss the different ways they could help in these circumstances. They decided to side with compassion.

In that spirit, Rabbi Castiglione and Greg Anglea want to make special Calls to Action:

  • “Deed goes along with creed”

    Please give us a call at (760) 618-6811. We want to hear your messages about your good deeds. Tell us what you decide to do to bring light and love to our world. We will be sharing those stories in future episodes.

  • “I want you to love”

    Rabbi Castiglione says it’s easy to bring ourselves to see the young man as an incarnation of evil. Instead look at the human being that he still is and see the potential that was robbed from him. The most important thing you could do is to look at those difficult situations with love.

  • Attend the next General Membership Meeting - Diversity of Faiths: Wednesday June 19th, 11:00 am at the Betty & Melvin Cohn Center, 550 W Washington Ave, Escondido, CA 92025.

  • Join us a week before at the Betty & Melvin Cohn Center for our June 12th event celebrating 40 years of Interfaith community service.

  • Learn more about Temple Adat Shalom and stay tuned for more information on the Walk for Love.

Bring Back the Dignity: A Healing Journey

Analaura and Greg in the podcast studio

Analaura and Greg in the podcast studio

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes Analaura. Analaura is a writer who shares her own experiences, perspectives, and struggles with homelessness.

Taking special note of the trauma homelessness causes, she reflects on the journey the last half of her life has taken her through. Whether it was growing up in a car with her entire family or trying to find housing with Interfaith, Analaura’s personal story is a truly touching account of overcoming both personal and circumstantial battles.

Calls to Action:

  • “Put down your perfection:” Analaura asks us to find it in ourselves to bring whatever we can to the table in spite of any apathy towards homelessness.

  • “Bring back the dignity:” Even if it’s a simple gesture or conversation, that sense of dignity may help those healing in their journey out of homelessness.

  • Read more about Analaura’s work on homelessness by visiting her blog.

  • Visit Feeding San Diego and the Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Banks to help support local food banks.

  • Learn more about some of the organizations Interfaith partners with including Jewish Family Services and Dreams for Change.

Resilience and Grit: A Mother's Commitment to Her Children

Watch this episode!

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes Sarah Gomez. Sarah is a Marine Corps veteran, mother of two, and graduate student at Cal State San Marcos. Today she is also an Instructional Technician and Academic Coach at the university.

Greg and Sarah discuss her journey from a successful homeowner to losing everything and becoming homeless with her two children and nowhere to go after her husband was sentenced to jail. Listen to learn how Sarah’s resilience and grit, and her commitment to her children led her to where she is today.

Calls to Action:

  • “If it wasn’t for Interfaith, then I would be one of those families on the street corner,” said Sarah, “Give to programs like Interfaith… Its why we’re here today.” Click here to donate.

  • Advocate to your elected officials to prioritize government grants to end and prevent homelessness for moms like Sarah - more resources for homelessness prevention are especially needed.

  • Interfaith has a special fund, “Offering Hope in Housing,” which is used to help those families facing imminent eviction. Click here, and select “Offering Hope in Housing” from the dropdown menu to donate to this fund and help mom’s like Sarah.