Pilot Program in Pacific Beach Aimed at Getting Homeless Off Streets

"Our last local count was about 250 homeless people, here, where we are," said Caryn Blanton, founder of Pacific Beach Street Guardians

A pilot program aimed at helping the homeless get off the streets was introduced Wednesday night in Pacific Beach.

Caryn Blanton is the founder of Pacific Beach Street Guardians. 

"Our last local count was about 250 homeless people, here, where we are," she said.

Blanton developed a pilot program that puts homeless people in temporary jobs, such as street and beach cleaning, along with custodial work. Wednesday night she introduced the idea, hoping to drum up community support.

"The most important piece of this is building self-esteem and rebuilding self-confidence that probably has been lost somewhere along the way in the last years as they've been experiencing homelessness," Blanton explained.

Pacific Beach resident Anet Tallon said he came to the meeting because he wanted to hear more about a possible solution to the growing problem.

"I think because it's a beach location and there's plenty of outdoor space so it attracts a lot of homeless people," she said. "I think we need to drop our stereotypes and start focusing on what the real problems are."

Currently, seven people are participating in the program.

Organizers told NBC 7, the more businesses that step up and offer work, the more people in the homeless community the program will be able to help.

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