Life is Meant For More

Reverend Meg Decker, Interfaith Board Chair

Reverend Meg Decker, Interfaith Board Chair

On this episode of ‘Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,’ host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by Reverend Meg Decker, Board Chair at Interfaith and leader of Trinity Episcopal Church in Escondido. As the ‘boss lady’ Rev. Meg discusses her experiences volunteering at Interfaith’s Haven House Shelter, sharing conversations with residents over their pancakes with sporks, and also speaks to her role as Board Chair, making tough decisions that directly impact those residents. Greg and Meg discuss how our neighbors experiencing homelessness truly have to fight back and the interesting conversation that results shows us that life is meant for more.

Calls to Action:

  • If you’re clergy, Interfaith needs more volunteer chaplains! Learn more at https://www.interfaithservices.org/volunteer/

  • Serve a meal at Interfaith’s Haven House Shelter. All of our dinners are made and served by volunteer groups and families! The current openings are listed here

  • Donate to Offering Hope in Housing. You can be the difference in ending someones homelessness. Click here to donate and select “Hope in Housing”

MythBuster Edition: Affordable Housing

On this special "mythbuster edition" episode of ‘Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,’ host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes back Rebecca Louie from Wakeland, an affordable housing developer, and Bruce, a formerly homeless resident of Wakeland housing. Greg, Rebecca, and Bruce discuss the common myths around affordable housing, and one very important truth: “there is only one thing that solves homelessness; and that is housing.”

Calls to Action:

  • If affordable housing comes to your community - show up or write a letter and say, “I do want this here!”

  • Learn more, get out, make your voice heard. Be a positive voice - YOU make a difference. As Rebecca states, “…anytime we would get one positive phone call - when we were getting so many negative ones - it makes an extraordinary difference.”

  • If you hear of a project in your jurisdiction, support it. And Greg adds, “You also don’t have to wait for a project to come on the docket. You can go to the council and put in a notice to speak (open comment at the beginning) and say that you support the creation of more of affordable housing. That it’s the just, right thing to do.”

A Vision of Housing for All

Terry and Greg in the podcast studio.

Terry 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 Terry, a veteran who was formerly homeless and is now an advocate for a vision of housing for all.

As a native Californian and San Diego resident for 47 years now, Terry shares his story of how he has experienced homelessness for most of his life. Greg and Terry discuss how different life circumstances can cause homelessness and some of the ways our listeners can help. Please send any questions you have for Terry - he will be returning to the show for a future Q&A episode!

Calls to Action:

  • Send in your questions for Terry by filling out the online form located at the bottom of the homelessinsandiego.org homepage - he will be back for a future episode of Q&A!

  • You can be an advocate like Terry and ask city council to address San Diego’s housing needs

  • Be aware and care - as Terry says, “let’s lookout for the people”

These Are My Walls

Holly and Tom in the podcast studio.

Holly and Tom in the podcast studio.

On this episode of ‘Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,’ host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by Holly Nelson, Carlsbad Clinical Outreach Manager. Holly also introduces Tom, who had spent eight years on the streets until two years ago when he began his journey with Interfaith.

As a LCSW (licensed clinical social worker), Holly discusses some of the challenges faced by Tom and many others who have experienced homelessness, including the struggles around falling into the cycle of self-medicating to ease the pain. Tom shares how he found Interfaith and met Holly, who in addition to helping with benefit enrollment, finding housing, and becoming sober, has also become a dear friend who he can count on. Tom's strength has paid off as he expresses how he feels when he looks around his home - "pure gratitude, these are my walls."

Calls to Action:

  • Advocate to local leaders to support programs like HOPE (Homeless Outreach Program Entitlement) and organizations like Interfaith, which can help people like Tom

  • Refer people to services - spend a little time to listen to someone’s story and if they have the desire to overcome homelessness you can refer services that can help them. Interfaith holds walk-in intake hours at the following locations/times:

    • Escondido- Betty and Melvin Cohn Center:

      550 W Washington Ave., Escondido, CA 92025; (760) 489-6380

      Walk-in hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 11:00am, 1:00pm - 3:00pm

    • Oceanside- Coastal Service Center

      4700 North River Road, Oceanside, CA 92057; (760) 721-2117

      Walk-in hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 11:00 am (closed first Friday of the month)

    • Carlsbad Service Center

      5731 Palmer Way, Suite A, Carlsbad, CA 92010; (760) 448-5696

      Walk-in hours: Tuesday - Thursday, 1:00pm - 3:00pm

  • Treat people with kindness and respect - as Tom discusses in the episode, some people’s ridicule of homeless people can make life more difficult than it already is, and “after a whole day of this, it’s hard going to bed at night thinking how you have to do it all again.” A little kindness, especially towards someone who is receives a lot of judgement, can go a long way.

Tears, Laughter, and Everything it Takes to Escape Homelessness

Shawn, Daniel, Anna Selfie.jpg

On this episode of ‘Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,’ host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by two coworkers; Daniel Sturman, Shelter Intake Specialist, and Anna Mades, Social Worker - Homeless Outreach Team OPD (Oceanside Police Department).

Greg, Shawn, Anna, and Daniel in the podcast studio.

Greg, Shawn, Anna, and Daniel in the podcast studio.

Daniel and Anna also introduce Shawn, who up until two months ago was experiencing homelessness for 15 years. Shawn shares her journey, the trials and tribulations she had to overcome, while Daniel and Anna discuss how they met Shawn, the 'choice words' they sometimes have to deal with in their line of work, and ultimately the strength they see within people like Shawn who are the reason they do what they do. They laugh, they cry, they get real - so our listeners have the opportunity to truly understand homelessness.

Calls to Action:

  • Donate to Interfaith Community Services to help more people like Shawn escape homelessness - Sometimes we encounter individuals who appear homeless and do not give because they may use it inappropriately. Daniel wishes to challenge people to take that sense of fear of giving and find solace in knowing that a donation to Interfaith is guaranteed to be used effectively and will change lives for the better.

    • Contribute to Offering Hope in Housing - make a monetary gift to benefit Interfaith by clicking here or mail your contribution to 550 W. Washington Ave., Escondido, CA 92025

    • Donate to Make It A Home - provide the dignity of a comfortable home for those we house by donating lightly used furniture and new household items. For questions or to schedule a pick-up or drop-off, please call 760-489-6380 ext. 206.

    • Donate warm blankets and jackets, for those in Interfaith’s Haven House Shelter and directly to Oceanside HOT and other homeless outreach teams

  • Try not to judge people by what you see and instead offer someone in need the resources that can help them escape homelessness:

    • Oceanside Police Department Homeless Outreach Team: 760-435-4418, 307 N Nevada Street, Oceanside, CA

    • Daniel’s Walk-in Screenings are on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 8:00am - 10:00am at 550 W. Washington Ave., Escondido, CA 92025

    • Interfaith Community Services: 760-489-6380

Bonus Episode: Ellis Overcomes Homelessness

On this bonus episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, invites Ellis Rose back to the podcast to finish sharing his story. When we left off, Ellis was sleeping on the street on the coldest night of the year. The two discuss the extreme difficulties faced by those attempting to overcome homelessness, and Ellis shares how he was able to finally find his way off the streets, once and for all.

Calls to Action:

  • As Greg and Ellis discuss, often lost in the representation of the homeless, are those voices who are actually experiencing it. You can make a difference by contacting the City of San Diego and the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors to encourage the formation of an Advisory Committee to represent those voices.

    • City of San Diego

      • Contact the City: 619-533-4000

      • Contact your elected official; a list of contact information can be found by clicking here

    • County Board of Supervisors

      • District 1 - Supervisor Greg Cox: 619-531-5511, greg.cox@sdcounty.ca.gov

      • District 2 - Supervisor Dianne Jacob: 619-531-5522, dianne.jacob@sdcounty.ca.gov

      • District 3 - Supervisor Kristen Gaspar: 619-531-5533, kristin.gaspar@sdcounty.ca.gov

      • District 4 - Supervisor Nathan Fletcher: 619-531-5544, nathan.fletcher@sdcounty.ca.gov

      • District 5 - Supervisor Jim Desmond: jim.desmond@sdcounty.ca.gov

How You End Up Homeless: Ellis' Story

Ellis Rose

Ellis Rose

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes Ellis Rose, who holds the ‘Homeless/ Formerly Homeless’ board seat on San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless. As a fellow board member (Greg holds the ‘Homeless Service Provider - North Coastal’ board seat), the two discuss the realities around what’s being done about the big issue - and what’s not, that should be.

Ellis shares his story of how he ended up facing homelessness, and the life circumstances that led him from being a homeowner, to living in his car, to eventually his worst fear- sleeping on the streets.

Calls to Action:

  • Sign up to be a volunteer for WeAllCount - the San Diego Point-in-Time-Count, which is a federally mandated census of homeless persons - taking place throughout San Diego County January 25-27, 2019. You will join more than 1,600 other volunteers to help make an impact on homelessness in San Diego. To register and for more information, click here

Helping Our Homeless Seniors and the Role of Affordable Housing

Bruce, a formerly homeless senior, in his apartment.

Bruce, a formerly homeless senior, in his apartment.

On this episode of ‘Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,’ host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by Rebecca Louie, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation. Wakeland is a leader in the creation and operation of affordable housing in California that address the needs of our communities.

Bruce’s unit in San Diego.

Bruce’s unit in San Diego.

Rebecca also introduces Bruce, a resident of supportive housing Wakeland has built in San Diego. Bruce is a Vietnam veteran who had a successful career in construction. After severe health problems led him to lose his job when he was in his late 60s, he became homeless. Bruce shares his story from experiencing homelessness as a senior to how affordable housing helped save his life.

Calls to Action:

  • Give your time to something you care about - as Bruce explains, “it takes a lot of people to make everything run and it takes a lot of money”

  • Learn more about one of the programs Bruce discusses on the show: St. Paul’s PACE

  • Be a vocal YIMBY (yes in my backyard) to show policy makers that you want affordable housing in your community

  • If you’re interested in viewing Wakeland’s affordable housing units Rebecca mentioned, please click here

An Opportunity to Live a Lawful Life

Steve Binder, Co-founder of Homeless Court

Steve Binder, Co-founder of Homeless Court

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by Steve Binder, Deputy Public Defender and Co-founder of innovative court program: Homeless Court.

Homeless Court Program in action.

Homeless Court Program in action.

Steve and Greg discuss the game-changing court program that helps homeless individuals get back on their feet and leave the streets. Steve provides listeners with a behind-the-scenes look at the origination of Homeless Court in San Diego, how the program works, and the national expansion of this first-of-its-kind program.

Calls to Action:

  • Request that our officials cease using the criminal justice system as a way to cite/arrest homeless people and, instead, to fund programs and strengthen opportunity for people struggling with homelessness

  • Learn more about the Homeless Court Program in San Diego by clicking here

  • Voice your support of Homeless Court by reaching out to the American Bar Association Commission on Homelessness and Poverty

Love is Worth Living For

Jill in her office, where she has worked for 7.5 years.

Jill in her office, where she has worked for 7.5 years.

On this episode of ‘Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,’ host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by Deacon Jim Vargas, CEO of Father Joe’s Villages. Established in 1950, Father Joe’s Villages has a mission to end and prevent homelessness, one life at a time.

Deacon Jim also introduces Jill, a former client of Father Joe’s Villages who shares her story from broken and hopeless, experiencing homelessness for 10 years, to her decision that love was worth living for.

Calls to Action:

  • Reach out. If you know someone who needs help, connect with them and encourage them to seek services to begin to rebuild their life.

  • Volunteer with organizations like Father Joe’s Villages and Interfaith Community Services - both organizations rely on help from thousands of volunteers each year.

  • Donate, or as Jill says, “Give. Give. Give.” Your donation translates to services that help people like Jill overcome homelessness.