San Diego Nonprofit Urban Street Angels Opens Residence

San Diego Nonprofit Urban Street Angels Opens Residence
January, 2019 Client News
Urban Street Angels brings housing programs and job training to end youth homelessness in San Diego County
  • First-of-its-kind housing center for local homeless Transition Age Youth (TAY) to open in the heart of downtown San Diego;
  • Transition Age Youth tend to be a critically underserved homeless population that have difficulty accessing services, including shelter, medical care, and employment;
  • Urban Street Angels is also one of the few nonprofit organizations in the region serving homeless youth with a sustainable model: a social enterprise component that provides job training and employment opportunities to participants in its short-term and bridge housing programs;
  • Tour of units and Interviews with organization founder and select program participants will be available
WHERE: Urban Street Angels, 1404 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
WHEN: Friday, Jan. 18, 2019
  • 8:30 a.m.: Media check-in and tours begin. Interviews available at this time.
  • 9:30 a.m.: Reception begins.
  • 10 a.m.: Ceremony and remarks begin in the cafeteria on 4th floor.
  • 11 a.m.: Program and reception concludes.

Metered street and pay lot parking available. Limited parking is available on-site for media. TV reporters who wish to go live from the opening will need to use metered parking in front of the building or nearby parking options.


The Jan. 18, 2019 invite-only celebration signifies the expansion of Urban Street Angels’ capacity to end youth homelessness in San Diego County, offering TAY hope and opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, and leave the streets behind for good.

  • The new Urban Street Angels Center, located in downtown San Diego at 1404 Fifth Avenue, adds to the network of care for homeless TAY in our County.
  • Participants must meet three qualifications to enter the program: Must be 18-25 years of age (also known as Transition Age Youth or TAY), currently experiencing homeless, is identified with mental illness and qualifies for services in the County of San Diego’s Behavioral Health Services System of Care.
  • TAY participants can enroll in a three-month “Just Be U” housing program. This includes:
    • A unique holistic approach for homeless youth to overcome mental health challenges, using healing techniques like Reiki, yoga, acupuncture, and chiropractic to help rejuvenate the mind, body and soul.
    • Support, housing, linkage to ongoing behavioral health treatment in the County’s Behavioral Health System of Care as well as job training and employment opportunities.
    • After completion of the “Just Be U” program, participants graduate and then can register for the nine-month Short-Term and Bridge Housing program. Participants receive case management and an interactive roadmap to achieve success, along with safe, supportive housing.
  • The new 12,000 sq.ft. center can house up to 20 TAY at a time in the organization’s nine-month Short-Term and Bridge Housing program, and 15 additional youth in the organization’s more intensive, holistic and wellness-based three-month “Just Be U” supportive housing program, for a total of 35 transitional-age youth.
  • In partnership with the County of San Diego HHSA/MHSA, Urban Street Angels currently has 25 homeless youth living in the new center, under the supervision of onsite clinical and administrative staff to reduce self-harm and introduce trauma-informed care.
  • The new Urban Street Angels Center is nearing capacity and has a waiting list; however, their team can assist any TAY in getting the resources they need.
  • Many of the current participants relocated from other Urban Street Angels housing programs from around San Diego County to live under one roof at the new center. Some of these locations were in the College Area and in the National City area.
  • With this new center, Urban Street Angels aims to successfully help more than 100 homeless youth off the streets by 2020, and over 500 homeless youth off the streets by 2025. The organization works to find stable, long-term housing and economically-independent jobs for the TAY in its programs.
  • Urban Street Angels leases the building from Father Joe’s Villages, but this is a separate organization.
  • There will be a reception to honor the opening of the new program.
  • Select units on the 2nd and 4th floor will be open for tour and media preview, so as not to disturb current residents. Handout video and publicity images available.
  • Eric Lovett, Founder and Executive Director, Urban Street Angels, Inc. and 8 West
  • Interviews with select residents if schedule and availability allows.
  • Invited guests who are scheduled to provide remarks at the reception include Deacon Jim F. Vargas, OFS, President and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages; Chris Ward, Councilmember, District 3, City of San Diego, Nick Macchione, Director and Deputy Chief Administration Officer, Health and Human Services Agency; Alejandro Sotelo-Solis, Mayor of National City; Stephen Padilla, Councilmember, City of Chula Vista; Cecily Thorton-Stearns, Behavioral Health Program Coordinator, County of San Diego
  • Urban Street Angels is one of the Southern California’s most impactful movements in the Basic Human Services space – providing sustainable solutions that offer hope and opportunity to homeless youth seeking to leave the streets behind for good.
  • Established by Eric Lovett in 2012, Urban Street Angels is a non-profit organization that operates the only regional program providing bridge housing and job training opportunities for transitional-age youth (TAY; 18-25 years old) in the San Diego area.
  • Seven years ago, Lovett recognized homeless TAY were underserved in San Diego County. As a former pastor with Missiongathering Christian Church, he led a volunteer effort to serve homeless youth in 2012 by taking to the streets with hygiene kits, food and water. He realized even more needed to be done after realizing there were no TAY-specific bridge housing program at the time in San Diego to house the nearly 1,500 homeless TAY living on the streets.
  • He then began to provide shelter in his own home for several homeless individuals for nearly two years.
  • Urban Street Angels, in partnership with the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency, Behavioral Health Services, have two programs that work together to tackle the homeless TAY crisis in San Diego:
    • Emergency Overnight Shelter Services: Urban Street Angels has helped 2,000 homeless youth (TAY) since 2012.
      • In 2018, Urban Street Angels served over 800 homeless TAY through its emergency shelter in Missiongathering Christian Church in North Park.
    • Bridge Housing: These programs are now centralized at the new Urban Street Angels Center in Downtown San Diego, consolidating previous single home sites around the city.
      • This program also provides coordination of other needed services through collaboration with mental health providers, health care, employment, education, and a comprehensive roadmap to help keep TAY on track with their personal goals, allowing them to leave the streets behind for good.
  • Urban Street Angels partners with local mental health treatment programs to provide on-site group / individual therapy to TAY who wish to participate.
  • Job Training / Employment through 8 West: A social enterprise business model where TAY receive vital job and soft skills training, and learn to handcraft a premium line of bath, shower and spa products in the process, including soaps and candles. To make a purchase or to learn more, visit
  • USA’s relationship with the County of San Diego was forged in early 2016. Their funding has enabled the organization to help more homeless youth off the streets in the past three years in San Diego.
  • Urban Street Angels is not a religious or specific faith-based organization, but a community that meets TAY where they are.
  • The public can support 8 West, the Urban Street Angels social enterprise, by purchasing handcrafted premium bath, shower and spa products at
  • Starting in 2019, Urban Street Angels needs mentors to provide minimal hours per month to walk alongside TAY in its housing program. For more information on mentorship opportunities, visit
  • Donations are always welcomed. Please connect with Urban Street Angels at 619-415-6616 or to see what items are needed.
  • Financial support is needed to provide support for their various services, such as support for their emergency overnight shelter, as well as for youth in their supportive housing program for food, clothing, medical care, bus passes, and hygiene items. Make a donation:
  • San Diego has the 4th largest homeless population in the country. More than 1,100 homeless youth (TAY) between the ages of 18 and 25 roam the city’s streets in need of food and shelter. The number of homeless teens and young adults in San Diego County increased 39 percent between 2016 and 2017, and the largest number of the increase in unsheltered youth during the last year was in the TAY age range.
  • Transitional-age youth (TAY) tend to be a hidden, underserved population that have a harder time accessing services, including shelter, medical care and employment. Residents at the new Urban Street Angels Center come to understand that they can go to school or get a job, and are provided an address, as well as an opportunity to make a sustainable difference in the world.
  • Studies show youth often have traumatic childhood experiences prior to becoming homeless. Youth who have been involved in the foster care and juvenile justice systems are significantly more likely to become homeless than those who have not. Family conflict and rejection, as well as economic instability, also can cause a young adult to become homeless, experience trauma and also may contribute to developing mental illness and substance use disorders.