• Email
  • Print

Homeless Response Plan

The city's efforts are guided by its Homeless Response Plan, which includes the following components: 

homeless outreach team in the Police Department made up of specially trained police officers who make regular contact with people experiencing homelessness to form relationships, offer referrals to services and ensure they are complying with the law.


Regular cleanup of encampments to reduce public health and safety risks and other impacts to the community.

  Contract with social workers to work with individuals experiencing homelessness and link them to services and support.
   Increase the supply of affordable housing.
  Provide funding for homeless programs serving those in Carlsbad, including La Posada de Guadalupe men’s shelter, Interfaith Community Services Carlsbad Service Center and the Carlsbad Hiring Center
  Coordinate a more comprehensive “point in time” annual homeless count in partnership with the Regional Task Force on Homeless San Diego.
  Address the numerous legal constraints that limit legislative and law enforcement powers with regard to homeless individuals.
  Connect with regional task forces, nonprofit service providers and other community coalitions to identify additional resources for meeting the needs of Carlsbad’s homeless.
  Ensure regular coordination among members of the city’s homeless response team to coordinate efforts affecting parks, open space, encampments, housing, public health and law enforcement

The role of social workers

The City of Carlsbad has contracted with Licensed Clinical Social Workers to help connect people experiencing homelessness with services and support to help get them into permanent housing. The role of these social workers is to:

  • Engage with individuals experiencing homelessness within the City of Carlsbad
  • Facilitate acceptance of placement or other services that support and stabilize individuals moving from street to service
  • Develop trusting relationships with individuals and families experiencing homelessness
  • Utilizes motivational interviewing techniques to understand, assess, and shift the individual’s stage of change
  • Help stabilize individuals by linking them to appropriate resources such as housing, medical, mental health, addiction and recovery services, food, clothing, transportation, employment, Social Security Disability, mainstream benefits and other financial resources based on the client’s individualized plan
  • Advocate to remove system barriers and to help individuals achieve their stated goals
  • Work collaboratively with other service providers and community partners to identify homeless individuals in need of case management services
  • Participate in case management meetings, staff meetings, trainings, conferences, program evaluation, and program development, for successfully placement of individuals needing to link to services

What’s next?

In June 2019, the City Council approved a $800,000 increase in the city's budget for homeless response, doubling the amount from the previous year. This covers new positions dedicated to implementing the Homeless Response Plan.

    One new sergeant and two new officers to the Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team, which will allow specially trained officers to be available seven days a week. The city previously had two full time officers supervised by a police sergeant who also oversaw other specialized teams. 
  • A full-time manager for the city’s Homeless Response Plan.
  • A “housing navigator” position to help people find rental housing. 

These positions have been filled, and our new expanded team is in the field daily working to address this challenging problem.

More information

Holly Nelson, Homeless Outreach Manager 

Back to main page