Today we’re talking about homelessness in San Diego and creating a better life circumstance for homeless people.


I think we’ve all heard stories of someone who suddenly lost their job, lost all of their money, and maybe even had to live out of their car or live on the street. Most of us would never even consider the contrast of an average person’s morning, let alone day, compared to that of someone who is homeless.

Imagine having to wonder things like… How will I clean myself up? Where will I sleep tonight? Will I be able to eat today? How can I keep the few possessions that I have safe? What do you do when life has dealt you an awful upheaval that puts you into a life circumstance that you don’t know how to deal with?

This is a sad reality for many people, and some communities are experiencing this on a much larger scale than others. For example, the state of California has the fourth-largest population of unsheltered people experiencing homelessness in the United States. 

Emily Howe is the Executive Director and Managing Attorney of Think Dignity, a local non-profit whose mission is to inspire, empower, and organize the San Diego community to advance basic dignity for those living on the streets.

She joins me today to discuss what efforts can be made to address the unsheltered homeless population and the myths that often hinder our ability to acknowledge the root cause of this big problem. 

Emily shares some of the very important work that Think Dignity is doing for the homeless population in San Diego in order for these individuals to have the opportunity to live a more normal existence.

I will also be joined by Carson Caldwell who will continue to tune in with us weekly to update us on his cross country journey to raise awareness and funds towards providing humanitarian aid to people in Yemen. Find out “Where in the Country is Carson?!”


We Discuss:

  • Projecting a positive outcome into our futures instead of something negative and fear-based
  • Myths about how people become homeless and why these hinder our ability to address the cause
  • How local ordinances are often a huge barrier to a homeless individual getting back on their feet
  • How we can collaborate together and come up with more sustainable solutions for the homeless
  • Where Carson is currently, how his trip is going so far, and what he’s seeing along the way
  • How others can step up and help the people of Yemen that are in need of humanitarian aid


“Those who are unsheltered – so many that we see – are an invisible population. They’re young women who might be escaping a domestic violence situation, someone that’s experiencing a divorce, and even a senior citizen who has a health problem. The faces are very diverse here in San Diego, and there are too many myths that hinder our ability to address the root causes of what’s occurring here.”  –  Emily Howe


About Emily:
Emily Howe - Headshot

Emily Howe is the Executive Director/Managing Attorney of Think Dignity, a local non-profit whose mission is to inspire, empower, and organize the San Diego Community to advance basic dignity for those living on the streets.

Her work has focused on human rights, civil rights, and policy solutions for healthy communities. 

As Executive Director she oversees the day-­to-­day management of Think Dignity, including the Transitional Storage Center, and is responsible for implementing the strategic plan through fundraising, advocacy, and program development.

In her role as Managing Attorney, she oversees the Legal Referral and Advocacy Clinics, Homeless Youth Legal & Advocacy Project, Know Your Rights, and legal assistance programs.  

Emily is co-chair of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s adoptee affinity network, and participates in the Honorable William B. Enright Chapter of the American Inns of Court, Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego, Lawyers Club, and Returned Peace Corps Associations.

She earned bar admissions in California, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia.


“There are about 5,000 individuals who are unsheltered. We can and want to be able to assist them, and there are resources to do so, but it will take the community to collaborate together and come up with a sustainable solution.”  –  Emily Howe


Resources Mentioned:

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Check out the video below to watch our interview: