Who Are We?

Interfaith Shelter Network links the hands and hearts of thousands of individuals, social service agencies and government agencies to provide a safety-net of support for San Diego’s 6,500 “situationally” or short-term homeless. We currently engage more than 4,000 volunteers each year, and provide numerous opportunities to individuals and organizations for involvement.Everything we do is geared toward helping people overcome homelessness and re-claim permanent housing. While low incomes and lack of affordable housing are major obstacles for many in San Diego, each person has a unique set of circumstances that has resulted in homelessness.  Our case managers work with individuals and families to identify their specific challenges and create a plan of action to take steps towards overcoming them. Interfaith Shelter fills some significant gaps in San Diego homeless services with its three core programs: Rotational Shelter, El Nido Transitional Living, and Rapid Re-Housing

WHAT: Case-Managed Emergency Shelter from October to May.

WHO: More than 260 family members, singles or couples stay for over 9,000 nights/year (an average of five and a half weeks per guest). The program is open to those who are clean and sober, free of severe mental illness and willing and able to work on a plan to end their homelessness.

HOW: 65 -70 congregations of faith open their doors for two or four weeks a year to 12-15 guests/clients referred by participating case management agencies. These congregations of faith are assisted by 55+ other support congregations that help in providing nighttime staffing, three meals a day and other needs in the shelter. The guests receive a lot of one-on-one attention from the volunteers.

SUCCESSES: Over 50 percent of guests leave the shelters for their own housing. 50 percent of adults have procured a job or other source of income before leaving. Stays of up to eight weeks are permitted, based on compliance with rules and progress on a mutually agreed case plan.

NUMBER SERVED: The program has served 8,500 people for a total of 28,000 nights without building shelters or hiring staff.

OTHER SERVICES: Volunteers also run Career Planning Workshops and Budgeting Workshops which adult guests are requested to attend.

HOW TO REFER: 2-1-1 San Diego maintains daily contact and knows what shelters have available beds. Alternatively, you can contact the social services agencies listed by area to arrange for intake screenings. These agencies are sub-contracted with the Network to provide on-going case management for guests of the Rotational Shelter Program.

ROTATIONAL SHELTER PROGRAM: The Rotational Shelter Program provides emergency shelter at sites scattered throughout the county – located in the areas that our guests consider home, and where they wish to be re-housed. This is one of the few emergency shelter programs that accepts families with children.

El Nido (The Nest) TRANSITIONAL HOUSING: The Network’s El Nido Transitional Living Program, housed in an 11-unit apartment complex in San Diego, is in its 19th (20) year of operation. El Nido is a domestic violence program and serves battered women with children coming from emergency domestic violence shelters. Participants spend one year working on ending unhealthy family patterns and learning new healthy ones. To date, El Nido has served over 225 families. The families work on ending patterns that may have contributed to their homelessness and learn independent living skills over a period of a year or more.

Interfaith Shelter Network is funded in part with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program funds provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Supported by the City and County of San Diego, the cities of Chula Vista, La Mesa, Oceanside and San Marcos, and by community donations.

RAPID REHOUSING (HOUSING ASSISTANCE): Rapid Re-housing is a program for guests who qualify through a partnership with the San Diego Housing Commission.  This program helps low income individuals to overcome the financial barriers to achieve permanent housing.