El Centro (Spanish for "The Center") is a city and county seat of Imperial County, California. El Centro is the largest city in the Imperial Valley, the east anchor of the Southern California Border Region, and the core urban area and principal city of the El Centro metropolitan area, which encompasses all of Imperial County. The city, located in southeastern California, is 113 miles (182 km) from San Diego and less than 20 miles (32 km) from the Mexican city of Mexicali.
- During the spring of 2022, students from the School of Journalism and Media Studies at San Diego State University embarked in a project to report about homelessness in El Centro, CA, a mostly Latino and Spanish-speaking community. These are the bilingual multimedia stories they produced., San Diego State University
- In collaboration with the City of El Centro and the San Diego State University Sage Project, master students in the School of Public Affairs were involved in providing recommendations to the city that are aimed at alleviating the homeless crisis. These recommendations were to be specific to the City of El Centro, with students considering the geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic situations specific to the city while conducting their research. This approach led to the overall determination that housing individuals experiencing homelessness at the fastest rate possible requires the use of creative and affordable housing solutions and is the best strategy for alleviating homelessness in the City of El Centro. Using the Housing First model is the most efficient and effective approach to achieving these goals. It was determined that recommendations presented in this document can only work when employing a high level of community and landlord engagement as determined by the group of practitioners of public policy and public administration. Lastly, it is understood that the resources required to leverage funding sources is substantial. Therefore, it is recommended that the leadership of homelessness initiatives for the city consider supporting the design and implementation of the region’s Coordinated Entry System (CES). The data collected here will not only assist in the coordination of the project, but also substantiate the effectiveness of Housing First which will help to mitigate for the resources put into grant acquisition. Many of the students involved in this project are active practitioners of public policy and public administration and as such are grateful for the opportunity to serve the community in the City of El Centro., San Diego State University
- This report is a compilation of work based on the research and reporting of students from Dr. Dominika Bukalova’s P A 497 Investigation and Report class, which participated in the San Diego State University Sage Project and their partnership with the City of El Centro. The students were tasked with researching the challenges of homelessness in the City of El Centro and presenting a set of recommendations for possible solutions to the issue. The research conducted by the students explored the particular challenges of homelessness in El Centro as well as solutions that had been implemented in other municipalities of similar size and demographics. The recommendations in this report are aimed at city leaders but also may involve partnerships with nonprofit organizations, private business and other government entities. The solutions are also specific to the needs and challenges of the City of El Centro., San Diego State University