Do we need an advocacy group for homelessness in San Diego?
The need for a countywide advocacy group is something that we must explore if the RTFH / CoC turns out to be unable to fill this role. This question came up at the August Regional Task Force on the Homeless board meeting.
The needs of every region differ according to the legal structures and political dynamics. Last year, I asked this question to Jennifer Loving, Executive Director of Destination: Home in Santa Clara County (full interview and transcript).
She told me about how the County of Santa Clara is the infrastructure organization for their CoC, but that they created Destination: Home as a separate advocacy organization with the same board of directors. This allows them to carry out the public awareness campaigns and education of elected officials.
I asked the same question to Marylin Brown in Houston who explained that the Coalition for the Homeless (full interview and transcript) serves both as the infrastructure organization and the advocacy organization, but that they have a different board of directors then their CoC.
When I asked the question here in San Diego early in 2017, it was suggested that a subcommittee of the CoC could fill this advocacy role and that a staff person at the RTFH could be hired to educate the general public.
I also asked how the tax measures in LA got traction and County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas explained that it was after the United Way and the LA Area Chamber of Commerce came together behind the issue.
Finally, here’s a word from one of San Diego’s best advocates, Nicole Capretz of the Climate Action Campaign.