TIJUANA.- The Tijuana city government - via its Social Municipal Development Department - hosted its third day of a program specifically targeted at helping the large homeless population residing in the Tijuana River, known as the "bordo". Called "Programa Mejora", or "Improvement Program" this time, the service booths were set up in an area near the 20 de Noviembre neighborhood.
On the third day of the program, more than 250 people received services from various governmental dependencies such as the Civil Registrar, the Municipal Medical Services, the Municipal Anti-Addiction Institute, among others.
The director of Social Municipal Development, Rodolfo Lopez Fajardo, headed off this event and indicated that after three weeks of this program's initiation, 92 people have entered rehabilitation, and 151 have been returned to their places of origin.
"Since the beginning of the program, we knew this was a complex task, but under the instruction of Mayor Jorge Astiazarán we have kept up the work and will continue to to so until the greatest amount of people living in this area can receive help and rehabilitation, especially since the rainy season is near and people's lives are at risk", said Fajardo.
It is worth noting that legal advice and orientation was provided, to help the homeless obtain needed documentation and support to return to their cities of origin, or enter rehabilitation facilities to work on addiction problems. These efforts received support from various civil organizations such as CIRAD Rehabilitation Centers, Las Memorias Shelter, and the Women's Rehabilitation Center En busca de una Nueva Esperanza.
In addition to these services, "migrant kits" were handed out, and included food, hygienic articles, and a preventative kit which included condoms, injectible water, filters, sterile needles, with the goal of preventing the transmission of communicable illnesses such as HIV and Hepatitis C.
The program's director stated that they have seen great success with the permanent booth they set up in the "bordo", where persons on a voluntary basis have sought help to return home. Daily, between five and seven people have approached the booth to obtain assistance, and this has translated into much better results and guiding definitive actions for the government's program.