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.

Let's Be Honest

Ryan poses with his foster dog in his first apartment.

Ryan poses with his foster dog in his first apartment.

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes his colleague Lauren Pollick, Shelter Program Manager at Interfaith Community Services, to discuss the agency's housing and shelter programs, why she got into non-profit work, and she introduces one of her former clients, Ryan.

Ryan shares his experiences with both homelessness and addiction with Greg & Lauren, and details how today, he is living in an apartment for which he signed his first lease.

Calls to Action:

It's Not Illegal To Be Homeless

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, welcomes back co-host Anne Rios, Executive Director and Managing Attorney of Think Dignity, as well as Gary Warth, writer for the San Diego Union Tribune, to discuss the criminalization of homelessness. Anne, Gary, and Greg share their experiences advocating for individuals who have received fines and legal penalties for being homeless, and compel listeners to get involved in order to help their homeless neighbors.

Calls to Action

Trying to Survive

From left to right: Anne Rios, Executive Director and Managing Attorney at Think Dignity; episode guest, David; and Greg Anglea, CEO at Interfaith Community Services

From left to right: Anne Rios, Executive Director and Managing Attorney at Think Dignity; episode guest, David; and Greg Anglea, CEO at Interfaith Community Services

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by Anne Rios, Executive Director and Managing Attorney of Think Dignity, a grassroots agency working hands-on with homeless individuals, developing creative solutions to meet their needs appropriately. Founded twelve years ago, Think Dignity operates a variety of programs including a storage center,  mobile showers, a street boutique for women, legal clinics, pop-up cafes and farmer's markets, and more.

Anne and Greg are then joined by David, who brings a unique perspective to the episode - given that he is still living on the streets. Having once received services from Think Dignity, David now works for the agency, operating the truck and trailers for all mobile programs. David details his struggle with homelessness, including his ongoing journey to find a home.

Calls to Action:

  • Support organizations like Think Dignity, Interfaith Community Services, and South Bay Community Services by volunteering or giving a monetary donation. These donations can go towards rental assistance, purchasing household items to furnish formerly individuals' homes, and more.
  • Find out about different ordinances that are criminalizing homeless individuals by visiting Think Dignity's website and if you are compelled, talk with your County Board of Supervisors and Police Chief about what the plan to do about homelessness in a humane and dignified way.

A Commitment to Help

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by Peter Seidler, Managing Partner of the San Diego Padres. Peter discusses his background in both business and Major League Baseball, as well as how his experience overcoming cancer cultivated a passion for helping our homeless neighbors. Walking the streets of Downtown San Diego during his recovery led Peter to many conversations with those living on our sidewalks, and he shares with Greg how he decided to get involved with his business colleagues to work towards ending homelessness. 

Calls to Action:

  • Volunteer with organizations striving to end homelessness. Organizations such as Interfaith Community Services need daily assistance serving food to our homeless neighbors. You call also call 2-1-1 for more information and volunteer opportunities with like-minded agencies.
  • Give a monetary donation to organizations helping our homeless neighbors. The Monarch School, a school for children experiencing homelessness, is one of Peter's favorites to support.
  • Connect with people. Smile at them. Look them in the eyes and say hello. Sometimes a human, personal connection can be the brightest moment in one of our homeless neighbor's day.

Making It Happen

From left to right: Formerly homeless Oceanside resident Jerry; Josh Ferry with Oceanside HOT; guest host Fiona King with Interfaith Community Services

From left to right: Formerly homeless Oceanside resident Jerry; Josh Ferry with Oceanside HOT; guest host Fiona King with Interfaith Community Services

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,' we welcome guest host Fiona King, Communications and Development Manager at Interfaith Community Services to the studio. Fiona is joined by Josh Ferry of the Oceanside Police Department Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) to discuss the role his team is playing to help end homelessness in Coastal North County. A non-enforcement unit, Oceanside HOT serves to build rapport with homeless clients and connect those in need to social service agencies.

Earlier this year, Josh met Jerry - who at the time had been living for the streets for 11 years. Jerry shares his struggles with homelessness, as well as how Josh and Oceanside HOT helped get him off the street and into an apartment of his own.

Call to Action:

  • Learn more about what your community is doing to end homelessness. Does your local police department have a homeless outreach team? What can you do to support them? Do your research and see how you can help your neighborhood HOT unit help end homelessness.

A Sense of Belonging

Bill, Interfaith Head Chef (left) joins Greg Anglea, Interfaith CEO (right) at the Voice of San Diego recording studio.

Bill, Interfaith Head Chef (left) joins Greg Anglea, Interfaith CEO (right) at the Voice of San Diego recording studio.

On this episode of 'Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories," host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by Bill Lewis, Head Chef at Interfaith. Bill walks Greg through his personal story of addiction and homelessness, and details how he was able to get clean, find a home, and eventually begin a journey of giving back by cooking for the clients of various Interfaith programs.

Calls to Action:

  • Understand the importance of detox programs and advocating for more opportunities for people to get sober across San Diego County.
  • Join our team! Interfaith is currently hiring Licensed Vocational Nurses for our Recuperative Care Program. Learn more by clicking here. 
  • Support Interfaith's Recovery and Wellness Center. Recovery programs allow the problem of homelessness to start fixing itself but we need funding to keep the program going. Click here to make a difference today.