USD Forum to Seek Solutions to Homelessness

San Diegans pass by homeless individuals in their neighborhoods and communities daily. More than 9,000 people in San Diego are without permanent shelter, according to the 2011 count by the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless.

The University of San Diego invites the community to come together on Feb. 23 for a forum, “Solutions to Homelessness in San Diego” where the public will be able to ask questions and offer their suggestions to a panel of community leaders. 

“While many of us see the homeless every day, it’s easy to become distracted and apathetic to their plight,” said Carlton Floyd, Associate Provost and Director of USD’s Center for Inclusion and Diversity. “We forget to connect to those who in these difficult economic times could very well be us, following a job loss, serious injury or other misfortune. We hope this forum will educate us about homelessness, strengthen our relationships with organizations working to help those who are homeless, and find practical ways we can assist in these efforts,” Floyd said.

J.J. Schlichtman, USD assistant professor of sociology, will moderate the panel. For several years, Schlichtman, a board member of the San Diego Regional  Task Force on the Homeless, has taught seminar courses where students spend time in the field working to address issues of homelessness.

The panel of community leaders includes Jennifer Litwak, Manager of Projects & Development of the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless; Matthew Doherty, Principal of Housing Policy and Planning at LeSar Development Consultants; Rick Gentry, President and CEO of the San Diego Housing Commission; Patricia Leslie, Facilitator of the Regional Continuum of Care Council; Brian Maienschein, Commissioner of the Plan to End Chronic Homelessness at the United Way of San Diego; Teresa Smith, Director of and Co-Founder of Dreams for Change, a local homeless-advocacy group; and Simonne Ruff, San Diego Director of the Corporation for Supportive Housing.

The forum takes place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in USD’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre. Those wishing to attend the free event should RSVP to Any questions or suggestions attendees might wish to ask panelists must be submitted via e-mail prior to the event. Those who cannot attend the event are welcome to submit questions and suggestions. Attendees are also asked to bring a canned good or non-perishable food item to support the homeless.

In conjunction with the forum, USD is hosting talented photographer Bear Guerra’s “The (IN)Visible Project, a multimedia installation using creative visual and audio components to paint an intimate and dignified human portrait of San Diego’s homeless population. The free exhibit runs continuously on the Plaza Menor in front of USD’s Student Life Pavilion through Feb. 25.  

USD’s University Ministry, Shelter San Diego and Student Homeless Alliance are co-sponsors of the event.

For more information, go to, or call (619) 260-7455.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Jeryldine Saville
(619) 260-4786