Homeless Trailer Park on Castillo and Carrillo
By Anna Marie Gott
Santa Barbara has a growing homeless problem of that there IS no doubt. Tourists, downtown business people and residents have all complained about the issue which continues to grow in both size and scope. The real question is how does the City address the issue and is "springing" a homeless trailer park on residents without notice the right way to conduct business? This is a 3 year experiment that includes 40 trailers being parked adjacent to a neighborhood to house 40 hardcore homeless individuals and nearby residents of the proposed location were not consulted. This left their possible concerns intentionally disregarded and unaddressed while the City pushed ahead with a Grant Funding Application that would place a homeless trailer camp in their neighborhood for 3 years.
Noticing a simple Grant Funding Application on the City Council's Agenda rather than a Grant Funding Application that includes a 40 unit Homeless Trailer Park at Castillo and Carrillo seems designed to bury the information to ensure that residents won't voice their opinions. The Staff report even failed to mention anything about the homeless trailer camp or how long it would be in operation. It simply mentioned "Development of Bridge Housings" which is as clear as mud. The fact of the matter is that the City is planing to house 40 hardened mentally ill and addicted homeless individuals on rotating basis for 3 years adjacent to a residential neighborhood and they decided to limit the information provided to the public and leave neighbors out of the decision making process.
I believe that we make the best decisions when we have the most information and there IS a healthy dialog. I also believe that when the City fails to notify and allow comments that it perpetuates the belief that many residents have that the City Staff and Council do not care what they think nor do they care to listen.
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