County Launches 100-Day Challenge to Reduce Homelessness

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Source: Santa Barbara County

On Monday, June 29, the Santa Maria/Santa Barbara County Continuum of Care and 20 local stakeholders launched a 100-Day Challenge to reduce youth homelessness in Santa Barbara County. Stakeholders in addressing homelessness among youth include:

  • Allan Hancock Community College
  • Community Action Commission/South Coast Youth Safety Partnership
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates
  • Channel Islands YMCA Youth and Family Services
  • Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara
  • Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara
  • Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley
  • Good Samaritan Shelter
  • Lompoc School District
  • Community Day School
  • Santa Barbara County Child Welfare Services
  • Santa Barbara County Education Office
  • Santa Barbara County Probation
  • Santa Barbara Unified School District
  • Santa Maria Joint Unified High School District
  • Transitions Mental Health
  • United Way Home For Good
  • Local youth with lived-experience of homelessness


According to a study by Chaplin Hall, one in 10 young adults age 18-25, and at least one in 30 adolescents age 13-17, experience some form of unaccompanied homelessness over the course of a year in the United States. The California Department of Education reports that in the 2018-19 school year, 8,316 students (11.7%) met the McKinney Vento definition of a homeless youth in Santa Barbara County school districts. In addition, 16,229 (59.1%) youth between the ages of 18 -24 are living below the poverty level according to the 2017 American Community Survey data for the Santa Barbara County CoC service area.

Community leaders across the nation are uniting to continue momentum towards an efficient and sustainable solution to this heartbreaking epidemic.

“The potential risks and dangers faced by youth experiencing homelessness are complex and require coordinated efforts between the educational sectors, child welfare system, juvenile justice system and service providers,” said Valerie Kissell, Executive Director of Youth & Family Services YMCA. “We are excited for the attention and focus to be on youth and young adults here in our communities that are tragically underrepresented.”

The Rapid Results Institute (RRI) and HomeBase, with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), announced the Santa Maria/Santa Barbara County Continuum of Care is the sixth cohort to accept the 100-Day Challenge to accelerate efforts in preventing and ending youth homelessness within their communities.

The RRI 100-Day Challenge is designed to empower and support front-line teams in pursuit of an ambitious 100-Day goal to prevent and end youth homelessness. This methodology was pioneered by the Rapid Results Institute, and has been used in communities and governments around the world to tackle complex social issues. The compressed timeframe of 100 days, high visibility, and support from coaches, peers, and federal leaders all work together to inspire teams to achieve rapid progress and sustainable system change. So far, more than 2,400 youth and young adults have been housed during the course of RRI 100-Day Challenges. 

Santa Barbara County has established a 100-day goal to achieve the following:

  • House 50 youth
  • Assign a navigator to 100 percent of youth identified on a real-time list of all people experiencing homelessness
  • 75 percent of youth accept case management with an individual service and housing retention plan


In the US Senate Report 115-268, the committee applauded HUD’s decision to provide funding for 100-Day Challenges, stating, ‘By offering local service providers the opportunity to come together to identify impediments and establish goals, the 100-Day Challenge leaves communities better prepared to confront youth homelessness in a comprehensive manner. The program also lays the groundwork for participants seeking to apply for a Youth Homelessness Demonstration Grant award.’

Jemine Bryon, Deputy Assistant Secretary of HUD, had this message for the new cohort, “Congratulations and thank you to this next round of communities for stepping up and being willing to devote the time and targeted effort to addressing youth homelessness. We and all the partners look forward to supporting and learning from you.”

Individuals, organizations, and communities interested in following the progress of these communities can sign up to receive news from RRI at Those interested can also follow the Challenge by searching #ChangeIn100Days and #EndYouthHomelessness on social media.

For more information about the Santa Maria/Santa Barbara County Continuum of Care, visit  


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RHS Jul 06, 2020 06:42 PM
County Launches 100-Day Challenge to Reduce Homelessness

This seems to be another example of an excess of bureaucrats and a dearth of workers. It reeks of jargon. How many people were involved in the study and debate about this issue? How many actual community aide people were out in the streets finding these needy people and giving them help? It is always easier to talk than to do.

PitMix Jul 07, 2020 09:55 AM
County Launches 100-Day Challenge to Reduce Homelessness

Not exactly homeless, the McKinney Vento Act defines homelessness as someone living with friends, relatives, in transitional housing, campgrounds, and other similar situations. So it is a broad definition.

letmego Jul 06, 2020 05:45 PM
County Launches 100-Day Challenge to Reduce Homelessness

Schools have resource officers that can help connect families in need with resources. Recognize that homeless may include: homeless, living in a car, living in a shelter, or living in crowded conditions with multiple families per unit.

d8vanilla Jul 07, 2020 10:29 AM
County Launches 100-Day Challenge to Reduce Homelessness

There are lot's of kids, of all ages, that use this Park, and some bums too. I'm not sure if I need permission to put a Porta Potty in this Park. Wouldn't I need approval from the City???? If I don't need permission from the City, then I will make it happen.

d8vanilla Jul 06, 2020 08:54 PM
County Launches 100-Day Challenge to Reduce Homelessness

But, the Porta Potty, will go into this little kids Park, and I'm assuming I would need permission from the City to do that. Yes, it's a little kids Park, on San Andres, but there's always adults hanging out too.

d8vanilla Jul 06, 2020 12:28 PM
County Launches 100-Day Challenge to Reduce Homelessness

Right now, there's a homeless man with a cast on his broken leg, that has been staying at this Park for the past couple weeks..... Where do you think he's going potty / poop??? No bathrooms nearby, No porta potties nearby.

d8vanilla Jul 06, 2020 12:12 PM
County Launches 100-Day Challenge to Reduce Homelessness

It's the smallest Porta Potty, and only fits one person. Sometimes, there might be a little sink on the outside, for hand washing. When they were constructing the little Park, they had one set up for workers, but it didn't get removed for months after they were done. It was used a lot, but I never saw any "monkey-business"..... ... now, they piss & poop everywhere / anywhere.... disgusting, smell, unsanitary, just plain gross

a-1594103110 Jul 06, 2020 11:25 PM
County Launches 100-Day Challenge to Reduce Homelessness

Just because you didn't witness it, doesn't mean things weren't going on. This excerpt re: Porta-potties in L.A. : "Unattended public bathrooms near homeless encampments have too often been used for illicit activities, including prostitution and drug use. People have even been known to commandeer a bathroom and make others pay to use it."

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