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Mar. 1 - Paul Downey Appointed to Homeless Task Force ‘Continuum of Care’ Board of Directors

Mar. 1 - Paul Downey Appointed to Homeless Task Force  ‘Continuum of Care’ Board of Directors

March 1, 2021

Contacts: Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, Fellow PRSA – Serving Seniors
                       619-997-2495 or

Serving Seniors CEO Paul Downey is the newest member of the San Diego Regional Homeless Task Force ‘Continuum of Care’ (CoC) board of directors. His appointment is effective February 17th.

The CoC board’s purpose is to assist with the coordination, development, and evaluation of services and housing for populations in the San Diego region who are at-risk of homelessness.

The CoC focuses on delivery of a set of programs and services intended to address the needs of homeless persons, along with the local Infrastructure to coordinate the programs and funding to resolve homelessness in San Diego County. It is a regional, community-based forum coordinating the development of the region’s homelessness response system.

“There are numerous efforts to address and solve homelessness in San Diego County, including the programs and services at Serving Seniors,” said Downey. “What I’ve often seen over my 25 years working with homeless seniors is the need for a collaborative effort that recognizes the unique challenges of this population.”

“By working together with representatives at all levels, we can create efficient use of funding and focus on the programs which help get people into housing, and also those that can prevent homelessness in the first place,” said Downey.

“Twenty-seven percent of San Diego County’s homeless population are over age 55. Our population is aging rapidly due to demographics and economic realities, so this issue is of utmost concern to Serving Seniors,” added Downey.

Serving Seniors is currently conducting a needs-assessment of homeless seniors in the county, as well as best practices in other communities. Downey will report the findings and recommendations to the task force after it is completed in June.

The Board’s priorities include:

  • Creating a system for coordinated assessment and housing prioritization for the most chronic and vulnerable homeless individuals, youth, and families;
  • Reinforcing a “Housing First” philosophy for all homeless housing and service providers;
  • Increasing access to permanent housing through various means;
  • Evaluating performance of services within the Region through data collection, analysis, and monitoring;
  • Creating capacity in communities throughout the Region to take ownership of and incorporate evidence-based practices to end homelessness;
  • Developing plans to fulfill the mission of ending homelessness for all individuals, youth, and families throughout the Region.

The CoC coordinates application for federal funding for programs and services from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Downey’s term on the board extends through 2023.

About Serving Seniors

Founded in 1970, Serving Seniors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in San Diego, California, dedicated to serving low-income adults aged 60 and over. A leader in senior advocacy and programming, Serving Seniors has created an innovative model of comprehensive services including nutritional meals, housing, health and social services and lifelong learning opportunities to hundreds of seniors in need. It is the largest provider of meals to seniors in San Diego County, and one of the only organizations in the nation providing such a robust range of services to vulnerable, at-risk older adults.

Serving Seniors President and CEO Paul Downey has been instrumental in the organization’s growth over the past 25+ years. Since being appointed the role in 1995, Downey has guided the nonprofit’s innovative efforts to provide supportive services focused on keeping low-income seniors healthy and independent.

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