Author Archives: Staff

ACT-SO Still Will Happen!

COVID-19 has affected our lives in profound ways. Thanks to swift action from the County of San Diego and State of California, we are not going to experience as much tragedy as some places that are being hit very hard.

Still, it’s set ACT-SO back. We were supposed to have had our competition last Saturday, and we still don’t know when it will happen. Furthermore, it’s set our in-person mentoring sessions back.

On the good news front, our wonderful partners at SD-YAMA are giving lessons remotely, and we’re doing email and video conferences with our other students.

Our National organization is currently working out competition rules and systems that will allow us to hold a virtual ACT-SO competition, perhaps spread over several days.

We don’t have new dates for you yet, but those will come. Please be assured that while the safety of our competitors is our top priority, we are determined to give them the full ACT-SO experience, in spite of COVID-19.

To that end, should our students earn Gold, we will be taking them to the ACT-SO National competition this summer. Here’s a short video from last year’s Gold winner, Jor’Denay Collier:

ACT-SO National 2019 Jor’Denay Collier Mini-Vlog

Here are a few highlights from the NAACP San Diego Branch’s ACT-SO Nation Poetry Performace competitor, Jor’Denay Collier

We want more students to experience ACT-SO National; both Gold winners and student observers. In order for that to happen, we need your help!

Can you make a donation to help our kids get to National? We estimate the average cost per student for a season of ACT-SO is $1500; we don’t expect many of you will be able to give us that much, but our kids will appreciate any help you can give!

Domestic Violence Resources

Being cooped up can make bad situations worse. Even in the midst of COVID-19, help is available. The San Diego County District Attorney‘s Office says:

Any person in need of a Temporary Restraining Order in North County or Central San Diego should contact (619) 235-5656, x118 for assistance in English or x102 for assistance in Spanish.  This applies for domestic violence, elder abuse, and civil harassment TROs. If the person is in need of help in East County, they should contact 619 235-5656 x 122 for English and Spanish.  As of now, all work will be conducted by phone and email, where possible, but filing TROs will still be possible. Call in numbers will also be posted on TRO clinic doors at the courthouses.  Services for South Bay is run by a different organization. 

CARE Center Service Directory

Need something? These are the folks the CARE Centers call on.

In what capacity?
Until When?
Mental Health
AdelanteMental Health 934-5770855 3rd Avenue, Suite 1110 Chula Vista, CA 91911 Must have medical necessity, homeless riskYesMental Health
Alpha Project Bridge ShelterShelter 568-86481501 Newton Ave, San Diego, CA 92113Yes (but full)Call daily for availabilityShelter
Areta Crowell Wellness Recovery CenterMental Health 233-34321963 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 9210118-24Specialized services for TAY 18-24 and Latino adults 18+YesTelecommunication; New clients must call Jane Westin Center for referralMental Health
B.R.I.D.G.E. Project 452-36708825 Aero Dr., Ste. 215 San Diego, CA 9212318+Yes
California Pop-Up Virtual CampSchool
Carol's HouseShelter(877) 633-1112YesShelter
Casa del Sol (Clubhouse)Mental HealthNoMental Health
Casa Nueva VidaFood, Shelter, Employment 420-3620430 F St. Chula Vista, CA, 91910YesCall for availabilityFoodShelterEmployment
Casa PacificaMental Health 30th St Ste. C San Diego, CA, 9215418+YesMental Health
Class CentralSchool
Corner ClubhouseMental Health 683-74232864 University Ave San Diego, CA, 9210418+Yes (limited)Existing clients only; food distribution by appointmentMental Health
Courage to CallMental Health and(877) 698-7838VeteransYesPeer support and navigationMental Health
Crossroads Family CenterMental Health 441-19071679 E Main St, El Cajon, CA 9202121-YesTelecommunicationMental Health
Del Sur Crisis CenterMental Health 575-4687892 27th St San Diego, CA, 9215418+YesMental Health
Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse Restraining Orders in East CountySchool 235-5656 x122YesTelecommunicationM-T: 8:30-5:00; W: 8:30-12:00School
Domestic Violence Clinic, Civil Harassment and Elder Abuse Restraining Orders (English)School 235-5656 x118YesTelecommunicationM-F: 8:30-12:30, 1:30-5:00School
Domestic Violence Clinic, Civil Harassment and Elder Abuse Restraining Orders (Spanish)School 235-5656 x102YesTelecommunicationM-F: 8:30-12:30, 1:30-5:00School
Douglas Young Wellness Recovery CenterMental Health 695-221110717 Camino Ruiz, Ste. 207 San Diego, CA, 9212618+YesTelecommunicationMental Health
Douglas Young Youth & Family ServicesMental Health 300-82827917 Ostrow St. Suite A, San Diego, CA 9211121-YesTelecommunicationMental Health
Downtown IMPACTMental Health 398-2156995 Gateway Center Way # 300, San Diego, CA 9210218+YesIntake takes longer than usual nowMental Health
Dreams for Change Dreams' CuisineFood, Employment 859-052918+NoClasses not offered, refer to Kyra for next stepFoodEmployment
East Corner ClubhouseMental Health 631-04411060 Estes St, El Cajon, CA 9202018+Yes (limited)By appointment onlyMental Health
Esperanza Crisis CenterMental Health 975-9939490 N. Grape St Escondido, CA, 9202518+YesMental Health
Family Justice CenterSchool, Mental Health 533-60001122 Broadway UNIT 200, San Diego, CA 92101Yes (limited)Providing telephonic advocacy, resource referrals, and safety planning services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and sex traffickingSchoolMental Health
Family Law (Custody, Parentage, Divorce, Support)School 235-5656 x124YesTelecommunicationSchool
Father Joe's VillagesFood, Shelter, Health 466-35373350 E St, San Diego, CA 92102YesFoodShelterHealth
Feeding San DiegoFood 452-36639455 Waples St #135, San Diego, CA 92121YesFood
Food for NonprofitsFood[email protected]12180 Kirkham Rd, Poway, CA 92064Non-profit orgsYesMust pick up in-personFood runs outFood
Halcyon CenterMental Health 579-86851664 Broadway El Cajon, CA, 9202118+YesMental Health
Heartland Recovery Center Mental Health N. Magnolia Ave Ste. 110 El Cajon, CA, 9202018-24; 60+Mental illness and substance use disorderYesTelecommunicationPhone messages onlyMental Health
HHSA (Isolation Request)Shelter, Health 715-2350Call Placement Coordinator ASAPYesM-S; 7am-7pmShelterHealth
IBNC Saturday Shower ProgramShelter 947-6057455 Palm Ave Imperial Beach, CA, 91932NoShelter
ImpactMental Health Gateway Center Way # 300, San Diego, CA 9210218+At risk of being homeless; no after crisis care; must fill out ACT Referal FormYesTelecommunicationM-F 8am-5pmMental Health
Jane Westin CenterMental Health 9th Ave San Diego, CA, 9210118+No health care provider YesWalk-ins accepted; Screened at the door; clients cannot enter with family/friendsM-F 8am-10pmMental Health
Jary Barreto Crisis CenterShelter, Mental Health Logan Ave San Diego, CA, 9211318+acute psychiatric crisis that is not manageable on an outpatient basisYesnormal operation; screening at the doorCheck for availabilityShelterMental Health
JFS FoodmobileFood 637-32108804 Balboa Ave San Diego, CA, 92123YesFood
JFS Safe ParkingShelter 637-3373See WebsiteYesShelter
Ladle Fellowship (Sunday Afternoon meal)Food 232-7513320 Date St. San Diego, CA, 92101YesFood
Mama's KitchenFood 233-62623960 Home Ave, San Diego, CA 92105YesFood
Maria Sardiñas Wellness Recovery Center Mental Health 30th Street, Suite K San Diego, CA 9215418+Mental illness and substance use disorder; Specialized services for TAY 18-24, older adults 60+, and AB109 probationeesYesTelecommunication; Clients can come in for injections and medicationT,TH,F 9am-5pm M,F 9am-8pmMental Health
Meals on Wheels Seniors San DiegoFood 260-61102254 San Diego Ave, Ste 200 San Diego, CA, 92110YesFood
Mobile Adolescent Services TeamMental Health Morena Blvd., Suite 200 San Diego, CA 9211021-Must be enrolled in a San Diego Unified School District school or a Juvenile Court and Community School school.YesTelecommunicationM-F 9am-pmMental Health
New Vistas Crisis CenterMental Health 10th Avenue San Diego, CA 9210118+acute psychiatric crisis that is not manageable on an outpatient basisYesnormal operation; screening at the doorCheck for availabilityMental Health
North County Food BankFood Toll #YesFood
Olive Crest Shelter 459-34721081 Camino del Rio S, San Diego, CA 9210815-24Temporary child foster careYesShelter
PATHFood, Shelter 810-86001250 6th Ave San Diego, CA, 92101Yes FoodShelter
Pregnancy and Family Support CenterFood 270-24913660 Clairemont Dr Ste 4 San Diego, CA, 92117Yes (limited)Food
Project SafehouseShelter 631-64424508 Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109Yes Shelter
Rachel Women's Center Eighth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101Yes
Rooted LifeShelter Grand Ave #802 San Diego, CA, 92109 YesShelter
Safe Parking ProgramShelter 497-02365605 Imperial Ave San Diego, CA, 92114Yes (but full)Call daily for availabilityShelter
SAGE LGBT Elder HotlineHealth
Salvation Army Senior Nutrition SiteFood 483-18314170 Balboa Ave San Diego, CA, 92117Yes (limited)Call daily for availabilityFood
San Diego County Office of EducationFood, School WebsiteYesVariesFoodSchool
San Diego Food BankFood Toll #YesFood
San Diego Food Bank Diaper DistributionHealth WebsiteSee websiteYesHealth
San Diego Job Corpshttp://sandiego.jobcorps.gov619-429-23251325 Iris Avenue, Imperial Beach, CA 91932Yes (limited)Only accepting applications for next term.
San Diego Legal Aid SocietySchool S. Euclid Avenue San Diego, CA 92114YesSchool
San Diego LGBT CenterShelter, Health 692-2077 x1013909 Centre St San Diego, CA, 92103Yes (limited)ShelterHealth
San Diego Sustainable Living InstituteFood WebsiteYesVariesFood
San Diego Worker Assistance InitiativeEmployment 492-20004699 Murphy Canyon Road San Diego, CA 9212318+Low wage workersYesEmployment
San Diego Workforce PartnershipSchool, Employment 228-29821111 Bay Blvd E, Chula Vista, CA 91911YesSchoolEmployment
SAY SD Community Assessment TeamMental Health 619-283-9624 x305 4275 El Cajon Blvd. Suite 101 San Diego, CA  92105 6y-18No3-Apr-20Mental Health
Senior Nutrition ProgramFood 478-5109140 E 12th St National City, CA, 91950Yes (limited)Home deliveries onlyFood
Small Business AssociationSchool
South Bay Guidance Wellness Recovery Center 3rd Ave Chula Vista, CA, 9191118+Specialized services for TAY 18-24, older adults 60+, and AB109 probationeesYesWalk-ins accepted, screened at the door; telecommunication for Dr appointments9-pm walk-ins
Turning Point Crisis CenterMental Health South Tremont Street Oceanside, CA 9205418+acute psychiatric crisis that is not manageable on an outpatient basisYesnormal operation; screening at the doorCheck for availabilityMental Health
U-Haul (for college students with valid ID)School WebsiteYes30 days of free self-storageSchool
Undocumented ResourcesHealth, School, School, Employment WebsiteYesCheck for availabilityHealthSchoolSchoolEmployment
UPAC Multicultural Community CounselingMental Health http://www.upacsd.com619-977-05065348 University Ave., Suite 108 San Diego, CA, 92105zip-codeYesServices are given in person in their offices or by telephone.Mental Health
Vista Balboa Crisis Center 233-4399545 Laurel Street San Diego, CA 9210118+acute psychiatric crisis that is not manageable on an outpatient basisYesnormal operation; screening at the doorCheck for availability
West Senior Center (Home Delivered Meals)Food 235-6572 option 11525 Fourth Ave Second Floor, San Diego, CA 92101YesFood
YMCA Childcare Resource ServiceSchool 521-30553333 Camino del Rio S, San Diego, CA 92108YesCall for availabilitySchool
Youth Assistance CoalitionShelter 412-78592801 B St, San Diego, CA 9210218-26SD YouthYes (limited)Temporary shelter / immediate housing / via appointments only then meet one on oneCall for availabilityShelter

Law Enforcement Should Use Care When Enforcing COVID-19 Measures

April 6, 2020

We urge everyone reading this to follow the orders of our County Health Officer, Dr Wilma Wooten.  We are undergoing a pandemic the likes of which has not been seen since 1918.  We at the NAACP San Diego Branch, founded just the year after that pandemic, know that extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.  We understand the need to avoid large gatherings and maintain social distancing. 

We read with some dismay the statements from Chula Vista, where the Mayor and Police Chief indicated they would start citing and possibly arresting people for disobeying the health orders.  We would like to think that this is mere saber-rattling to try to convince people to follow the guidelines voluntarily.  We were not, however, born yesterday.

We are concerned that this pandemic may be used to exacerbate the unfairness and discrimination in our system.  The Health orders are broad and sweeping and subject to interpretation.  We know that when law enforcement is given vague mandates, enforcement often falls most heavily on the African-American community, and other communities of color.  We know that laws with broad scope are often used to target communities, such as black and brown youth, for reasons unrelated to the purpose of the laws. We do not want to see the law enforcement using these laws to, through bias explicit or implicit, further unfairly target black and brown folk.

We are concerned that law enforcement may make the crisis worse by over-zealous and authoritarian enforcement of the health orders. We get that people should stay home.  We get that disobeying the order is disobeying the law, and subjects people to citation and arrest.  What we question, however, is what purpose would be served by such citations and arrests.

Obviously, our brave law enforcement officials are at high risk for contracting COVID-19.  Just as obviously, citizens who foolheartedly congregate are also at higher risk for contracting COVID-19.  Why bring these two high-risk populations into close physical contact, as is required for citation and arrest?

Jails are perfect COVID-19 incubators.  Should law enforcement make actual arrests, defendants will be placed in those jails, which will endanger their lives far more than talking in a park.

We are facing a time of economic peril.  The most modest fines may push low-income folks over the edge, causing them to forgo health care or lose their homes.  Thus, even citations pose too great a risk.

We call on law enforcement to continue their efforts to educate, and refrain from punitive enforcement.  We call on the public to cooperate.

Thank you,

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Rebuttal: SD Unified’s Online Learning Plan is Terrible

April 6, 2020

In the most recent article in the Voice of San Diego, April 3, 2020, the superintendent and the board and begin to explain the new on-line process of education for the San Diego Unified School District.  Well, better yet, they do NOT explain the process because every other paragraph contradicts what they said in the previous paragraph. The article, like the actors on the school board, states that a “soft launch” of on-line education will begin after spring break and the “actual” on-line learning will begin April 27th.  This is ludicrous. Students technically have had no formal education since March 13th…roughly 5 weeks of wasted time.

It behooves one to ask the question of why our school board and its one employee did not elicit the guidance from a school in the SD Unified district, iHigh, that ALREADY HAS on-line learning from K-12?  Why didn’t they just work with iHigh and get the information in a unified way and distribute that information to all teachers? This way the already stressed teachers would at least have a guideline to follow and could add their own information for further clarity of the lesson being taught.  Doesn’t it just make sense to not re-invent the wheel?

The issue of “grades can only go up” leaves one speechless.  Our students from all sectors of the district will suffer greatly from this ridiculous idea. Can you imagine a student that already has good grades will do nothing and even worse, LEARN NOTHING for the remainder of the school year?  The students whose parents are not home all day and are having difficulties learning the information, will only become frustrated, quit, and just keep the mediocre grade they have earned up until now. Again, NO LEARNING will take place.  Our school board is famous for not following rules and regulations set up by the state and this is clearly an example of another rule they intend on breaking. Article 3, of the Ed Code 49066, states: “teachers, NOT the school district and/or superintendent of such district shall not order a student’s grade to be changed”.  Therefore, ONLY teachers can give grades. Why would a teacher want to give an exemplary student a mediocre grade because the student decides to just “opt out” of learning until the end of the school year? Teachers, by design, want ALL of their students to do the best they can in all circumstances. Taking the easy way out is not acceptable in any way, shape or form. 

Then there is of course, the school board begging for more money!  When will there be enough money to stop you from asking for more? Our households are now struggling to deal with this surreal situation we find ourselves in and yet you have the nerve to ask for more money?  Seriously? The state gave you money. Use it wisely. The question still unanswered is where is the excess money you already received for the ADA per student until the remainder of the year? What did you spend all that money on?  Because the daily use of the school is significantly less since NO one is on the campus. Bills will be less, etc. Where is that excess money going?  

Time and time again SD Unified School District under the leadership of Cindy Marten, has proven how incompetent it is through all the mishandling of money, personnel and student needs.  The current crisis situation only intensifies the need for the community to demand a better plan for our students than this hodge-podge of ideas put together by these incompetent so-called educators.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Founded in 1919 after a visit by renowned author, activist and NAACP co-founder, W.E.B. DuBois, the NAACP San Diego Branch is celebrating a century of standing sentry over the civil rights of the people of San Diego. If you need more information about the NAACP San Diego Branch, please visit

We Need a Long-Term EMS Contract

April 4th, 2020

Council President Gómez
City Admin Building
10th Floor 202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Cate
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Moreno
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Bry
City Admin Building
10th Floor 202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Kersey
City Admin Building
10th Floor 202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Sherman
City Admin Building
10th Floor 202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Campbell
City Admin Building
10th Floor 202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Montgomery
City Admin Building
10th Floor 202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Ward
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101

Dear City Councilmembers, 

My name is Francine Maxwell, President of the San Diego Branch of the NAACP. We are proud to participate in this democratic process to ensure the health and safety of all San Diego residents, especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic we are experiencing. 

We have now monitored the progress of the EMS contract for a few years and are thankful that it is now time to find a resolution. Our members look forward to receiving quality EMS care in our community through an open and transparent RFP process. 

We’re disappointed the City will be restarting the time-intensive RFP process and once again providing a short-term solution through an extension of the current provider. Although the staff’s recommendation for this extension is understandable, this contract has not been prepared for public bid in over two decades. 

It is imperative that we move towards releasing the RFP to secure a long-term provider who can partner with the City and can provide emergency medical services as quickly as possible. Once the RFP is public, We look forward to participating once again in support of the provider who can best ensure a safe and healthy city for us all. 

Thank you,

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Founded in 1919 after a visit by renowned author, activist and NAACP co-founder, W.E.B. DuBois, the NAACP San Diego Branch is celebrating a century of standing sentry over the civil rights of the people of San Diego. If you need more information about the NAACP San Diego Branch, please visit

Section 8 Lawsuit April Update

When is the next hearing for NAACP San Diego Branch’s lawsuit against San Diego Housing Commission?

On Thursday, April 9, 2020, the federal court will consider our request to remand the case to state court. The federal court will also consider San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) request to dismiss the state court claims, and SDHC’s request that we provide more detail on the federal and state fair housing claims.   

Why is the case in federal court? (I thought it was in state court.)

As we shared in last month’s update, SDHC removed the case to federal court in January 2020. This was procedurally late (over six months late) and a veiled attempt to re-litigate the same issues that were already decided by the state court judge on November 1, 2019. 

SDHC is trying to get a second bite at the apple, which delays the case. Justice delayed is justice denied, and SDHC is actively trying to delay justice in this case. 

To summarize, SDHC is again trying to exclude as evidence statements SDHC’s CEO Richard Gentry’s made referring to an Obama-era desegregation policy as “social engineering.” SDHC is also trying to dismiss our state-law based claims pertaining to discrimination and the perpetuation of racial segregation. These are all arguments that the state court already rejected. 

What is going on with the separate Public Records Act lawsuit against SDHC?

Over six months ago, we requested 2019 Section 8 data from SDHC through a California Public Records Act request. But we have yet to receive the data. We filed a separate lawsuit in January to compel SDHC to provide this data.

Why is the 2019 data needed?

On November 1, 2019, the state court held a hearing on SDHC’s request that the court dismiss the case and SDHC’s argument that its actions were protected as free speech. 

The court reviewed our briefs, evidence, and expert declarations, and heard oral argument by our attorneys. The court ruled and issued an order. The Court gave us the opportunity to allege additional information and facts, including 2019 data, to support our claims. (The court also rejected SDHC’s argument that its discriminatory actions are protected as ‘free speech.’)

The court gave us 10 days to file an amended complaint, but our attorneys asked for more time in order to obtain the 2019 data from SDHC through a Public Records Act request. The judge granted our attorneys’ request for additional time (60 days). Less than a week after the hearing, our attorneys requested the 2019 data from SDHC. Over six months have passed and we have yet to receive the data. 

How can I help as a member of NAACP San Diego?

You can chair the active Housing Committee! There is an opening. 

As the chair, you will receive updates about the lawsuit and related issues from our attorneys, and you will help decide what information would be helpful for fellow members. 

You will also be the first to hear about upcoming hearings and case-related events. While you are under no obligation to attend any hearings or events, you will play a helpful role in receiving information. 

You will also get to help guide the future of the Housing Committee! You have likely heard about the injustices occurring at the city and county level, including the new development with separate rules for low-income individuals and intentional discrimination by a county housing agency employee. 

To be eligible for this role, all you need is passion for civil rights and justice. Apply here.

Message from SDG&E: Energy Assistance

We received the following message from our SDG&E community representative:

Dear Community Partners:

SDG&E is very much concerned by the economic hardship that many of our non-profit partners and the people that you serve are facing due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).  

We want to remind you of SDG&E’s direct assistance programs that can help people experiencing financial hardships due to COVID-19.  Many may qualify for SDG&E assistance programs and bill discount programs.  Those programs are available at and include the following:

• California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE): Provides a 30% or more discount on monthly bills for customers with qualifying current household income or customers who are participating in certain public assistance programs.  

• Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA): If a customer doesn’t qualify for CARE, they may qualify for FERA, which provides income-qualified households of three or more with a reduced electric rate (12%) on their monthly bill. 

• Medical Baseline Allowance: Customers who have a qualifying medical need or necessarily use a medical device (i.e. for a compromised immune system, life-threatening illness, or any condition where additional heating and air conditioning or a qualifying device is medically necessary to sustain a person’s life) are eligible for a significant discount on their energy bill.  Household income is not a factor for qualifying, but a doctor’s certification on the application is required. 

If you are aware of people that have been economically affected by COVID-19 who might benefit from these programs, please forward this message to them and welcome them to apply for assistance.  

These programs are in addition to measures that we have taken to help our non-profit partners meet the challenges of COVID-19.  We have accelerated our philanthropic giving initiatives to provide resources as soon as possible to our non-profit partners, many of whom have shifted their programming to provide basic needs in their communities.  SDG&E has also dedicated resources to support food, income, utility, and rental assistance to impacted workers through the COVID-19 Community Response Fund at The San Diego Foundation (for non-profits), the San Diego Worker Assistance Initiative at the United Way (for impacted workers), and the SDG&E Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund at the United Way (utility bill assistance accessible by calling 2-1-1).

We will get through this, and SDG&E is here to help.  For a more complete list of how we are helping communities through this pandemic, please visit

Full disclosure: SDG&E has been generous with their sponsorship of the NAACP San Diego Branch and its youth programs.

The Nat

Looking for educational activities for kids? The San Diego Natural History Museum has lesson plans, online activities, and more for teachers and parents. While many were designed to be used during a museum visit, they contain good background information that is easily accessible for parents offering lessons from home. More.

Education Resources

Our scientists are out in the field-and working from home-to document and identify specimens, survey wildlife for existing research projects, and more. Learn about what we’re up to-our science blog will keep you up to date. More.