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County to run $10 million program to help adults succeed after they leave jail

San Diego County authorities will be spending $10 million in state and local funds to aid up to 400 people leaving county jails, officials said Monday.

The program — scheduled to begin in September — will target those with a history of behavioral health needs or who are at risk of becoming homeless.

County officials estimate helping 300 to 400 former inmates before June 2026.

“The goal … is to help people leaving jail to gain independence, reduce criminal behavior and future returns to jail, and therefore improve public safety,” Andrea Pella, director of the county’s Prevention, Diversion and Re-Entry division, said in a statement.

The county was awarded $6 million by the state and added an additional $4 million.

The program works by connecting former inmates with partners to assess and offer support based on their unique health, housing and employment needs.

Prior to their release from jail, an individual will meet with a team of clinicians and peer support specialists who will connect them with proper support services, county officials said.

When released, the person will be transported to a temporary housing location, where they will receive treatment and behavioral health support.

“This program will provide connections to care and housing resources for those who may have otherwise been homeless upon their release from jail,” Pella said.

Behavioral health services can be used to help people with mental illnesses or substance use disorders.

The program is modeled after the San Diego County’s Community Care Coordination, which assists older adults with health and social services.

While in temporary housing, the former inmates will work with a member of the Community Care Coordination team to explore local job opportunities, reconnect with family members and find long-term housing solutions.

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