Homelessness on the Rise in San Diego

Homelessness pic
Homelessness
Image: wsws.org

Having been honorably discharged after 27 years in the US Navy, Captain David Schnell is currently general manager of Americas Commercial & State Transportation Group’s Los Angeles Express Lanes. Also interested in charity and helping others, Captain David Schnell serves as executive director of Christ Kitchen, a nonprofit organization devoted to feeding those in need in the greater San Diego area.

In 2015, homelessness in San Diego County rose by 2.8 percent from the previous year, and by 26 percent in downtown San Diego alone. Downtown homeless shelters saw a 123 percent rise in people without homes seeking shelter and services. San Diego has become the US city with the fourth largest population of people without homes.

The reason for the rise is unclear. While it is possible that there were simply errors in data gathering, increasing housing prices have been cited as a major reason for forcing people out of homes. Over 60 percent of individuals without homes are from outside San Diego County. Authorities are seeking greater federal funding to keep up with the influx.

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The Cal-Learn Program of Walden Family Services

A retired US Navy officer and warship commander, Captain David Schnell now maintains responsibilities as the vice president of operations for the Electronic Tolling Collection division of Xerox’s Americas Commercial and State Government Transportation Group (ACGST). Captain David Schnell balances his professional responsibilities with his dedication to a number of charitable organizations, including his role as a board member of Walden Family Services.

While it focuses primarily on foster care placement and adoption services, Walden also offers various programs for teens and emancipated foster youth, such as the Cal-Learn Program. A statewide program, Cal-Learn works with pregnant and parenting teens in an effort to help them complete their high school education, become independent, and raise a healthy family.

When teens join Cal-Learn, they are connected with a Walden case manager, who is responsible for helping them establish goals and secure the resources necessary to earn a GED or graduate from high school. The case managers also provide comprehensive support services as they work with teen parents and their families to overcome everyday challenges. By meeting with a case manager and completing life tasks, Cal-Learn participants earn “Parenting Bucks” that they can use to purchase important parenting items at Walden’s Teen Store.

USS Peleliu Played Key Role in Military and Humanitarian Efforts

Captain David Schnell is executive director of a San Diego-based service organization, Christ Kitchen. Prior to this role, Captain David Schnell gained significant leadership expertise as commander of the USS Peleliu, a US Navy warship. He was responsible for all day-to-day operations for the amphibious aircraft carrier, which was decommissioned in 2015.

Commissioned in 1980, the USS Peleliu traveled approximately 1 million nautical miles during its 35-year career. Approximately 58,000 sailors and Marines served aboard the USS Peleliu. Throughout its history, the ship had a part in many significant events, including carrying American troops to Afghanistan in 2001. In addition, the ship supported an evacuation after Mt. Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines and provided assistance after massive floods struck Pakistan in 2010.

The ship, which takes its name from the World War II Battle of Peleliu, will reside in inactive reserve at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. At the USS Peleliu’s decommissioning ceremony, veterans and service members who served on the ship paid homage to its history.

USS Peleliu and Other Amphibious Warships

Captain David Schnell is an honorably retired veteran who served in the US Navy for 27 years. A decorated officer, Captain David Schnell received a Defense Meritorious Service Medal, a Joint Service Commendation Medal, and a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his service. While in the Navy, David Schnell commanded the USS Peleliu, an amphibious warship.

The USS Peleliu, or LHA 5, is an assault ship that maintains national defense by quickly deploying US ground forces in remote locations. Amphibious warships are able to sail while under attack, and they provide the rapid buildup of forces on shores to combat opposition.

In addition to wartime activity, amphibious warships are used in disaster relief and humanitarian efforts. After Hurricane Katrina, a ship carrying thousands of police officers, firefighters, and rescue troops provided relief to New Orleans. Furthermore, amphibious warships provided support in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004.

The USS Peleliu is scheduled for decommissioning on March 31, 2015, making way for a new class of amphibious assault ships.