Urgent Help Needed

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SANTA BARBARA ARTIST LEFT HOMELESS DUE TO THE FAILED SECTION 8 HOUSING
CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM

A local professional artist / teacher with health challenges has been
left homeless by the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.  Is
this how we treat our local teachers and artists? Do we leave them
homeless in the streets?

The housing department and numerous agencies including the Independent
Living Center, Family Service Agency, Adult Protective Services,
Social Services, PATH Shelter, Santa Barbara Mission Shelter, Catholic
Charities, and the Jewish Federation all refuse to assist in finding
HCV housing, or assist with emergency funds.

Local and State politicians have also been unsuccessful in resolving
this problem including Representative Salud Carbajal, Senator Dianne
Feinstein, and Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams.
This lack of help has left this woman homeless for over a year. She is
seeking a landlord to accept the voucher, and she has a good local
rental history. Immediate short term housing or hotel is also needed.
What is someone to do when the government pays for one’s rent, yet
does not provide a home?

There are many different kinds of government housing assistance, and
the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program requires that tenants
find their own housing, (hence the term ‘Housing Choice’ Voucher)
where a landlord will then accept the direct deposit payments.  Many
people are misinformed, thinking that a low income apartment complex
or other housing is automatically provided, but those are through
other types of rental assistance programs, have long waiting lists,
and most do not accept the HCV.

People should be concerned about the failure of the Section 8 Housing
Choice Voucher program. It is standard policy for the Housing
Department to leave people homeless, although they have a voucher.
These people have been on a long waiting list, often for years, and
when finally given the voucher, they are not given rental funds or a
place, and can become chronically homeless. People can lose their
voucher rental payments if housing is not secured in a short time
frame.

Help is needed in assisting this local woman with locating a cottage /
1-2 bedroom house, preferably in a cool coastal area near a bus;
raising funds for rent deposits funds, hotel, leasing a car, housing
search help, and assisting with medical needs. Also, help with storage
costs, and costs of restaurant meals, which are not paid for by the
Housing Office.

Help is needed to locate a private family foundation for emergency
grant assistance. Help for legal fees and lawyer referrals are also
needed. As stated above, the Santa Barbara Social Services and
agencies do not assist with what is needed.
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Tuesday, September 10, 2019