Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

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Source: Santa Barbara County

More than 1,800 people are experiencing homelessness in Santa Barbara County. To help these individuals and families stay warm this winter, the Santa Barbara County Public Defender’s Office is accepting donations of sleeping bags, hats, gloves, jackets, clothing, socks, shoes, hygiene products, thermal underwear, scarves and backpacks. 

New or lightly used donations are being accepted until Dec. 11 during regular business hours at the Public Defender’s offices in

  • Santa Barbara: 1100 Anacapa Street

  • Santa Maria: 312-P East Cook Street, Building

Financial donations will also be accepted for the purchase of new sleeping bags and undergarments that are tax deductible through the Public Defender’s partnerships with checks made out to Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara County or Americorps. Donations can also be made online at www.fsacares.org, where donors should specify that it’s for the sleeping bag drive.

In order to receive donated goods, those experiencing homelessness will need to attend the distribution event on Friday, December 13 from noon to 2 p.m. or until supplies last at each office of the Public Defender.

For more information, contact the County Public Defender’s office. In Santa Barbara, call (805) 568-3470; in Santa Maria, call (805) 346-7500.

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a-1576377267 Nov 20, 2019 08:04 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

To A-157... Yes, all the options you suggest are viable..but, I'm from here (already receive military disability..decorated veteran) & wanted to rebuild to start again. Cancer is very difficult to heal from (head), so i'm not ready to work yet. Thanks for your kind reply.

SantaBarbaraObserver Nov 20, 2019 07:32 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

We are most definitely NOT a Christian country. The fact that you think that the USA follows a particular religion, tells me that you are truly ignorant on the origins of our nation, its foundation and its success. If you happen to be a Christian, then its up to you to live up to your deities dogma, not the rest of the community. So get your wallet out, open your doors and your heart and start acting like a real Christian, not a hypocrite like most of those who wear the cross and live among us... As far as money and resources go: Maybe people need to be reminded that the Catholic church is more than able to house and help every homeless person in our country. But they'd rather not as they're paying off hundreds of millions of dollars for the molestation of thousands of kids by their righteous leaders and need to keep their investment portfolio in positive territory... How Christian!

giftedinSB Nov 18, 2019 10:19 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

The articles on homelessness are always the ones with the most comments. Plenty of strong and differing opinions. Here's one: it's a lot different to donate a sleeping bag or clothes than to hand out cash to a panhandler begging for money. I personally feel comfortable donating practical items such as these and will be going through my belongings to see what I can give away. If your conviction is that this enables homelessness, then don't donate. You do you.

Roger Nov 18, 2019 06:14 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

You want to know how people from South of the boarder make it in America...They help each other they don't crap on each other like Americans do. They take each other in help each other get work, food, a place to live transportation. They go to school learn the language. When someone asks them for spare change doesn't matter what color they are they reach down deep in their pockets to help another human soul in most cases it's a beautiful thing...If you don't want to help don't it's simple, if you do want to help then do it...I know there are some folks out there that have loved ones who have chosen a different way to live by living outdoors for whatever reasons they have. I was on the streets as a kid teenager runaway because I did not like being in an institution where I did not belong I was an unwanted kid. I have a Sister who slept outdoors through the cold Winters for several years as well as the rest of the year because she had troubles. I have another Sister who is a Domestic Violence Survivor she and her children were homeless as a result of the abuse. I have a few friends who are out there I chose to help I don't need anyone's permission..I seem to recall something I read in Woody Guthrie's Biography about asking people for help..."Don't go to the wealthy side of town because they will slam the door in your face..Go to the poor side of town a poor person will give you what they can..I guess I have to read the book again I cannot remember exactly how it goes...Ever since I read it I crave peanut butter and bacon sandwiches though..If you don't want to give don't no one is twisting your arm. I remember a bunch of kids that were homeless in the 80's here in Santa Barbara they used to hang out in DLG Plaza by Silly hall most of them did not want to live at home so they slept outside some of them came from wealthy homes in Santa Barbara they had money which is funny because one day I took a bunch of them out to lunch at Alex's and gave them ten bucks each, they had more money than me...They all came around got off the streets later on went back home went back to school grew up...I still know acouple of them today...

Roger Nov 18, 2019 11:43 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

It's not so much judgemental as the way I had been bought up through the years disagreements are good between people it's helps to understand others different than yourself better. :)

ZeroHawk Nov 18, 2019 11:31 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

Roger, "You want to know how people from South" This is a great post. I fully agree. Let's support each other and not be total dickbagz to one another. If you have more than someone who is needy, lend a hand and stop being so judgemental. I'm on the edge of poverty and my daughters and I help each year, donating, and volunteering.

Roger Nov 18, 2019 10:30 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

I also come from a family of Hispanic Folks and live around others though I'm a mutt myself and disabled not lazy if that is what you are getting at. And I know about the lazy, drug addict thing they don't like junkies shooting dope funny the people I know don't seem to mind people who smoke marijuana..You left out people who drink their dope seems to be alot of alcohol which is accepted in any family but more dangerous then what junkies shoot in their veins ironic don't you think?

a-1576377267 Nov 18, 2019 10:16 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

I come from a family with and know plenty of other families of immigrants. Yes we do help our family and friends out. We help them get a job and get a place to stay until they can rent their own place. We'll even help out people we do not personally know. However we do not help nor tolerate people who want to be lazy or drug addicts. I know plenty of people who would've gotten a wooping by their parents if they even picked up a cigarette. Help sick people and people who lost their jobs, those who want to help themselves. We have plenty of fields and farms that need a lot of help. You know how many of those people working those fields are people in their 50's, 60's and 70'? Quite a lot. Many of them have injuries and illnesses, yet make no excuses to get up before sunrise and go to work to support their families. They all complain about the vagrants just as much so called "NIMBY'S". No one wants that in their back yard. Vagrants usually live near Hispanics and do you think they like to see people smoking or shooting dope next to their little kids birthday parties they throw at the parks?

forrestmv18 Nov 18, 2019 07:38 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

Your anecdotes have nothing to do with what is happening today Roger. Look at the actual numbers and actual demographics of people that are now choosing to live on the streets or having their mental illness choose for them. What is happening in LA or SF is not a housing crisis or a predicate for anything that has happened in the past.

a-1576377267 Nov 17, 2019 10:18 PM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

I talk to a lot of homeless around town and pretty much all of them do not want to be sheltered/do not want to live by rules of society or they say they applied for services but that they've been waitlisted for a long time. Why are they waiting for others do something for them. One thing I learned in life is to never rely on someone else expect others to do for things for you and that one owes me anything. I'm not advocating for, nor am I here to get into arguments about illegal immigration, but how is it possible for immigrants to come here from Mexico with no education, no knowledge in the English language, work low paying jobs and still make something of themselves. I know plenty of people who came here with nothing, grew up poorer than dirt, sent money back to their families. Now they are living comfortable lives here, some are even homeowners, with no handouts. I find it hard to believe American born individuals with at least highschool educations and the ability to speak English cannot make something of themselves. Obviously there are those who fall on bad times and need the help to get back on their feet. They usually do not remain homeless. Then there are those who are mentally ill and people's who's brains are fried beyond repair from drug use. They need to be institutionalized as they cannot take care of themselves. This isn't "right wing" or "left wing" ideology. This is just common sense.

a-1576377267 Nov 17, 2019 06:34 PM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

Upon reading this my first instinct is to help, to get rid of some sleeping bags that I have that are in great condition but I don't use, to donate blankets and some other warm clothing items I have that I'm not using, to help. I have a daughter who is in her early twenties and is choosing to be homeless here in Santa Barbara. She is healthy, intelligent and able-bodied and could work a full-time job if she chose but she chooses not to, she is embracing the homeless life even though she's miserable. She is actively choosing not to work a full-time job and because of it she cannot take care of herself. I am not going to enable anyone, not her, nor anybody else. I get up every day and go to work at a full-time job that I do not always enjoy but it pays my bills and buys my food and keeps a roof over my head. I did that for her and the fact that she's too uninterested in doing that for herself really upsets me to my core. yes, some of the people who are on the streets can't help it, they have mental illness or PTSD but there are also healthy and capable adults who are choosing this life. Is it our responsibility to rescue them? No, but we should help those that really truly need it by getting them medical care and housing. The ones choosing this life need to help themselves!!

a-1576377267 Nov 17, 2019 08:19 PM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

Never reward bad behavior! She will come to her senses when she thinks you truly don't care what she does. Usually there is an underlying issue she may not be able to express yet. Just let her know no matter what she is still loved even if you do not approve. I thought I knew it all at the age too. For now I shall pray she stays safe and returns home a lot wiser than when she left...

a-1576377267 Nov 17, 2019 07:24 PM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

It does, I can't be happy in anything good in my life because I feel constant worry. I'm helpless in regards to her. Ironically helping, like what's requested here, is NO help. Our beautiful city is too easy to be homeless in...

Shasta Guy Nov 17, 2019 07:00 PM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

I’m so sorry to hear that. It must break your heart everyday. I hope and pray that she can muster up the strength to choose to walk away from that lifestyle while she still has options available to her.

ParvoPup Nov 17, 2019 05:55 PM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

Homeless because you were burnt out of your house? I'll help. Homeless because you were bankrupted by our health care system? I'll help. Homeless due to job loss, death, accident, etc. I'll help. Homeless because you are some bum only aspiring to get drunk, get high or just be a leach on the rest of us - screw you.

a-1576377267 Nov 17, 2019 10:44 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

Soft toothbrushes with covers for the bristles; most requested item is socks; gloves and mittens. You can give without getting into the sleeping bag controversy with yourself.

RHS Nov 17, 2019 10:13 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

This may be the worst comments section in the history of Edhat. Such anger and lack of empathy and such tropes of misinformation and right wing ideology. How to respond. Here's a couple: Public Defenders do not represent homeless people in most of the "homeless" crimes charged against them as these are almost always "infractions" which do not qualify for the appointment of counsel. You do not encourage starvation by feeding the hungry. If you give a sleeping bag to a homeless person they will not sell it and if they did it would be "sold" (traded) to another homeless person needing it. Homelessness is increasing around the nation to unprecedented levels. Read today's LA Times for a discouraging but thorough discussion of the problem. Millions of homeless people cannot all be just lazy bums. So sad to see the denial and finger pointing in lieu of actual social responses to fellow humans.

a-1576377267 Nov 18, 2019 01:38 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

Many that I know had a safety/support net of family in SB. That's why I stayed. I worked too, but may not have made it without family support and occasional monetary help over the decades. I knew I'd never be homeless.

a-1576377267 Nov 17, 2019 03:58 PM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

Those of us who have "three squares" and so on work our asses off to do so. We pay our taxes, we get up and go to work when we'd rather play, we keep ourselves on track. We don't look to others to pick up our slack. Our "fortune," as one commenter put it (There but for fortune, whatever) comes from us putting in the time and effort to afford to live here. We said "No" to drugs, we kept our alcohol consumption within manageable parameters. We strove to keep our brains undamaged. Maybe we didn't have the best upbringing, maybe we didn't get all the breaks in life, but we didn't grow up expecting others to take care of us either.

a-1576377267 Nov 17, 2019 01:54 PM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

So, you'd rather the homeless be cold, hungry, and kept in their place? That's not very nice. Some people feel that the homeless should be "shooshed" away and forgotten, while they themselves have three squares, cocktails, and dessert. Happy Thanksgiving to the "haves" is the order of the day, and forget about the "have nots." Better to be an abused and abandoned dog in this wealthy town. Sheesh!

lovesbalot Nov 17, 2019 09:47 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

Many of those afflicted or addicted are veterans who fought in ugly wars, got PTSD. No matter how someone got to be homeless does not diminish their basic need for warmth. Those of you who feels this is enabling sound overindulged with a compassion deficit that urgently needs treatment. Hopefully the spirit of the holidays will motivate you out of cognitive dissonance to some civilized action for your neighbors on the street.

d8vanilla Nov 17, 2019 09:06 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

They'll probably just turn around and sell them for a buck, so they can buy their booze, cigs or drugs. Then, they will try and get another freebie.....and do the same thing.

a-1576377267 Nov 17, 2019 08:54 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

In my book this does a great disservice to some of these homeless - especially the addicts. Anyone who's had a family member or friend who was an addict - whether alcohol or drugs - knows the worst thing you can do is make life comfortable for them while they continue in their ways, i.e. enabling them. They'd be better rounding them up and forcing them into a shelter even if against their will. But this is just enabling. IS the PD's office lobbying for law changes to allow us to forcefully take them off the street and get them treatment?

a-1576377267 Nov 17, 2019 10:48 PM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

A sleeping bag is not “making life comfortable”. It is keeping someone from dying. And, no, you cannot “round people up against their will”. Try reading the constitution sometime.

Shasta Guy Nov 17, 2019 08:42 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

I am always conflicted here. Since they are already going to be sleeping outside anyway then let’s give them what they need to be warmer. Yet, doing so enables the lifestyle that blights our community. Compassion vs law and order, it’s like a bipolar disorder. We give in ways that don’t entail direct cash that could be used for addictions.

lovesbalot Nov 17, 2019 08:48 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

I see no conflict in the Public Defender's reaching out to help the homeless. We need more of this compassionate mindset. There but for fortune go you and I. So many homeless have died in our community because they are freezing at night. Let's find compassion and get some sleeping bags over to the PD. With the high cost of living in SB many are homeless. And some just a paycheck away from it.

SantaBarbaraObserver Nov 17, 2019 08:34 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

This was probably done with the best intentions but it was obviously not thought through. The County Public Defender's office should not be involved in these issues or these types of drives. They are supposed to be non-political and as such should keep out of any and all political and social issues as a department.--------------------------------------- PDs are grossly underfunded and severely over worked and their lack of funding and resources are a direct cause of downfall for many people who are unwittingly fighting an accusation or a crime. ----------------------------------------------- Where would their good intentions be better served? I'd say by bringing much more attention to the sad fact that these hard working people at the PD office are abused and over used by the politicians that oversee their budgets. --------------------------------------- IMHO donating legal aide to the people who are stuck in the cracks of our community would help far more than a few sleeping bags. ----------------------------------------------- When the difference between someone's future and freedom in our society is based on ability to pay an attorney to defend themselves, we are missing the true cause of many people's plight who find themselves homeless. These people do not have $5000 for a retainer, let alone the funds to pay a small fine. So they are pushed deeper and deeper into the hole. ----------------------------------------- We all know that most lawyers are awful people, but Public Defenders are not. They ARE the good ones. In fact they are about as close to angels as you can find in the messed up world of our justice system. So I would rather donate $ for legal aide specifically for the homeless. But rather than either, of these token donations, I want our politicians to fund these departments fully so they can actually do their duty and help the downtrodden and the poor fight for freedom.

SantaBarbaraObserver Nov 18, 2019 09:57 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

re: Nov 18, 2019 08:39 ;;;; Well counselor, based on your cursory and wholly inaccurate summary of my comment, I can now assume that you too are among the ranks of terrible lawyers who call SB home. Why? Because you conflated someone else's comments for mine and then hopped on that soap box that so many of your fellow lawyers love to stand upon to rain their righteous indignation onto anyone within earshot... So thank you for proving that most attorneys suck. Maybe next time read more carefully so you wont come across as such.... If you had read my words more carefully you would have learned of my disdain for the current state of funding and resources for PD offices across the land and how this, causes untold harm to the poor of our nation. Case loads are the problem, not the duty to defend the accused, regardless of the crime. The lack of equal justice and legal support for the poor is a crime against humanity and an affront to American ideals. If I were you, I'd get back to work, for every 6mins you spend here takes away from your required billing. I am sure your partners will not be pleased with any time spent on anything that isnt billed...

a-1576377267 Nov 18, 2019 08:39 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

SB Observer I happen to be an attorney in town and am well versed in the law - probably way more than you are judging by your comments, and the PD does get people off - regardless of whether or not everyone deserves a defense which is how they justify putting horrid people back out on the streets - they are overly focused on that. Sometimes, regardless, someone needs to be put away. The needs of the many must trump those of the few. So maybe you are the one who isn't as educated as you like to think you are. Get off your high horse for once and learn something.

a-1576377267 Nov 18, 2019 08:39 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

SB Observer I happen to be an attorney in town and am well versed in the law - probably way more than you are judging by your comments, and the PD does get people off - regardless of whether or not everyone deserves a defense which is how they justify putting horrid people back out on the streets - they are overly focused on that. Sometimes, regardless, someone needs to be put away. The needs of the many must trump those of the few. So maybe you are the one who isn't as educated as you like to think you are. Get off your high horse for once and learn something.

SantaBarbaraObserver Nov 17, 2019 08:59 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

The ignorance of the law and the ideals that frame our nation in this comment is astounding but not surprising. We have failed to educate our people and the results are quite telling with comments like this one... I pity you and as my grandma used to say, 'bless your heart, you poor soul"...

a-1576377267 Nov 17, 2019 08:44 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

SB Observer your sentiment that "most lawyers are awful people" applies just as equally to PDs. They use technicalities, etc. to get people off who are child molesters, wife beaters, etc. They defend some horrid people who need to be locked up - just as the other lawyers do "awful" things so don't be a social justice warrior and quit it with your virtue signaling.

CoralineJones Nov 17, 2019 08:00 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

Love the choice of words "experiencing homelessness'. What else do you folks expect from the public defenders office? They defend the worst of the worst. This is just enabling and increasing the problem. Instead of handing them sleeping bags why don't they do something more proactive to end this problem rather than increase it?

jqb Nov 17, 2019 09:44 AM
Sleeping Bag Drive for Those Experiencing Homelessness

The people who whine about "innocent until proven guilty" when it comes to Trump or Kavanaugh have no such scruples when it comes to the poor. This is sociopathy and a deep abiding intellectual dishonesty.

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