Mayor calls for expansion of City College’s homeless services training program – City Times

Todd Gloria hopes to partner with other regional colleges to create similar programs

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria spoke with City Times Media reporter Ingrid Estrella on a variety of issues, including the need for more housing, during the recent “Love Your Wetlands Day.” In her latest city budget, Gloria allocated additional funds for City College’s homeless services training program, the first of its kind, which was developed in partnership with the San Diego Housing Commission. Photo by Kathy Archibald/City Times Media

Mayor Todd Gloria praised a unique San Diego City College certificate program designed to prepare students for work in the homeless-serving industry.

He also has requested that the program be expanded.

the Roaming Program for Engaged Educational Resourcesor PEER, is a one-of-a-kind partnership between City College and the San Diego Housing Commission, the agency that oversees homelessness and affordable housing resources for the City of San Diego.

“This partnership helps us create the future workers for these proven solutions to homelessness,” Gloria said. in an invitation-only press event on February 3.

PEER was originally launched in October 2020 with a $187,000 grant from SDHC. In June 2021, the committee voted unanimously to renew PEER funding with a supplement $250,000 Gloria allocated to the American Rescue Plan program.

Lisa Jones, SDHC’s executive vice president of strategic initiatives, said the program was created to help alleviate the staffing shortages plaguing the homeless-serving sector.

“We needed to start figuring out how to build that workforce and training opportunities that were accessible and affordable for a lot of people interested in doing that job,” Jones said.

Gloria said he hopes to expand the program to other area colleges, as well as expand the city’s program to develop career paths in the homeless-serving industry.

“It’s extremely difficult (a job), both mentally, physically and emotionally,” Gloria said. “You interact with very, very difficult people and it’s not always the best paying jobs.”

The key, Gloria said, was to develop career paths that allow people starting out in outreach to progress to higher-paying roles like program manager or even executive partner in a related nonprofit.

“That’s how you get the level of professionalism, of expertise, of the ability to really drive change on this issue,” he said.

Comments are closed.