Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

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By Anna Marie Gott

Due to the concern’s residents have about a permanent supportive housing facility for 14 chronically homeless individuals at 15 South Alisos Street the Salvation Army will hold a community meeting. The meeting will be held tomorrow, Monday September 30th, at the Franklin Neighborhood Center from 6:00PM to 7:30PM. Residents from the Eastside and all other areas of Santa Barbara should consider attending the meeting.

The proposed project includes the removal of two 2-bedroom cottages from the residential rental market, which had previously been rented to those in the workforce, and the construction of one 10-bedroom manufactured home. - Each bedroom will be individually leased.

The Salvation Army has proposed to covert the property into a facility dedicated to providing permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless with severe needs under California's Housing First Policy. Funding will be provided by the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) with rent subsidies from the Santa Barbara Housing Authority if certain criteria is met.

Housing First is an approach that offers permanent, affordable housing as quickly as possible for individuals experiencing homelessness, and then provides the supportive services and connections to the community-based support services people need to keep their housing and avoid returning to homelessness. Under Housing First programs residents will not be required to abstain from drugs or alcohol or seek mental health treatment and will come from the County’s coordinated entry system that assesses an individual’s level of vulnerability and use of services.

Last year a Housing First project was proposed at the Castillo St. commuter parking lot. The Tiny Homes for the Homeless proposal required 24/7 oversight, on-site managers/case-workers, a part-time nurse, security cameras, and included some oversight by a police officer for 40 chronically homeless individuals.

The Salvation Army proposes to house 14 chronically homeless individuals with no on-site oversight other than case managers who occasionally drop by the facility or make referrals to offsite mental, medical and social service providers.

If approved this would be the 3rd facility focused on providing services to the chronically homeless in the immediate area while other areas of the City provide no such services. - Both PATH and the Rescue Mission have homeless shelters a few blocks away.

Parents of children attending nearby Adelante and Franklin elementary schools are worried about the proximity of the facility to the schools while other Eastside residents are worried and frustrated that the Eastside has simply become the “dumping ground” for social programs for the homeless and the increasing problems with the homeless which are increasing, not being taken seriously and remain unaddressed.

To date the City of Santa Barbara’s Planning and Community Develop Department has stated that this project is a “use by right” project. They have further stated that the project does not require a conditional use permit, an Environmental Impact Report or any other approval other than architectural design.  If true it means a project like this can be placed anywhere in the City with no conditions of approval or operating requirements.

Date:     Monday, September 30th
Time:     6:00 to 7:30 PM
Place:    Franklin Neighborhood Center
             1136 East Montecito Street

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Roger Oct 01, 2019 06:27 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

This project and a few others should be moved to the West Side every one is getting down on the East Side while most of the shelters are here. The Salvation Army is just over into the West Side on Chapala what about San Andreas? San Pasqual? They could take on acouple shelters over there...Over by Food Land...Just about everyone for this project live elsewhere. NIMBYISM at it's finest...

a-1569963623 Oct 01, 2019 02:00 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

This project is rather different than people are imagining. When someone who is experiencing homelessness moves indoors, they need a lot of support to KEEP them housed. When you work with chronically homeless individuals in particular, you'd be stunned at the long and bureaucratic path to get someone housed. The Housing Authority evicts more recently-housed homeless than you'd believe. Most of the people on this thread could not make it in a Housing Authority project here.
If there was a magic bullet to end homelessness we'd have found it.
We NEED supportive housing with services like detox, mental health, public health and life skills to keep folks housed.

LCP112233 Oct 01, 2019 11:47 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

Anyone else hear about the couple of vagrant guys in the Santa Barbara Ross today? Filthy and trying on shirts over their dirty clothes. Hanging out in the bathroom when customers were waiting in line behind them? I guess "I got it at Ross" will take on a new meaning if someone comes down with meningitis or the like.

LCP112233 Oct 01, 2019 01:45 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

No sir. They were hocking lugies in the store. Not trying on clothes to buy. Just to be jerks. Doing Lord knows what in the bathroom. It actually happened. Send me your address, next time we see some disgusting human behaving this way we will send them to your house.

MyHonorStudentB Oct 01, 2019 09:24 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

Humorous, New verb form of the word "covert"?

I can't resist this somewhat pedantic observation. The article contends "The Salvation Army has proposed to covert the property into a facility..."

They probably meant "convert" but in some sense it is meaningful. A common complaint about supportive housing conversions is that they are done "covertly" rather than transparently with community notice and feedback.

Perhaps the Edhat writer has invented a new verb form of the word "covert."

That cracks me up lolololol...

RHS Oct 01, 2019 09:05 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

No one is suggesting that we "put them all together" on one site. This is a small number of "them" and there will be such sites scattered across the city to disperse the impact if NIMBY's can just take a deep breath and let the program get going.

a-1569887954 Sep 30, 2019 04:59 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

This is a terrible idea. I have worked for supportive housing and to qualify for housing you must have a Severe mental illness, substance abuse problem AND physical disability. Unfortunately that creates a lot of difficulties to be a successful tenant. Sorry to say this but if you Put them all together without on site staff and it will be a total disaster. Next plan please...

a-1569886878 Sep 30, 2019 04:41 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

I sent this to the City Council, Administrator and City Attorney Today-
Ladies and Gentlemen-

While most people sympathize with the homeless, putting this shelter in the center of a population consisting of many families with children is a lousy idea.

While a great many homeless are decent people who have had a bad hand dealt to them, there are also people in the population that have severe mental illnesses and some of those can be violent. There are also criminals in the homeless population.

How is the Salvation Army going to guarantee the families in the area around this proposed shelter that they and especially their children will be safe? Is the Salvation Army going to do a full medical check and a full criminal background check on each person who they house there? Are they even equipped to do these full background checks?

I will guarantee you that if this shelter is approved and a crime, including robbery, assault or some kind of sex crime, etc. happens to anyone in the area that is committed by a resident of this shelter, the Salvation Army and the City of Santa Barbara's taxpayers are going to be on the hook for some huge legal bills and cash settlements.

You had better think this out before you approve this homeless shelter. It is a good idea in the wrong location.

Regards,

Ernest Salomon

Chuey Craig Sep 30, 2019 01:26 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

The Salvation Army is known to discriminate and reject those from the GLBT community. ——- Whatever happens with this proposal, I hope the City and County require them to sign a non-discrimination agreement and to serve everyone regardless of sexual orientation and religious belief or lack of belief. ——— Spending public money to support a group that discriminates against some members of the public would be wrong. ———- I invite other members of the SB community to support this principle no matter where you stand on this particular project. Thank you

Chuey Craig Oct 02, 2019 05:40 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

4:17: You are correct. The SA has gone to court to establish a right to discriminate against those of other religious beliefs - or no belief - and against members of the gay community. They have that right. Just like the Boy Scouts did when it was taken over by a religious group and began excluding gay boys and dads; it didn’t turn out well for the Boy Scouts who are still struggling to recover after renouncing their discrimination policy. —- Similarly, we - the public and the government we fund and that represents us - have the right to refuse them special treatment and any public funding. Discrimination is wrong. Religion does not justify bogotry. ——— I will not support SA until they rebuke their bigotry. I urge other people of good faith or no faith at all to do likewise. ——— If they hold themselves out as a charity and solicit the general public and taxpayers for support, then they should serve everyone in need.

a-1569869052 Sep 30, 2019 11:44 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

It's like saying being up in a plane, flying cross-country, looking out the window and saying, "Gee. Look at the size of the USA. There's tons of places for people to live." How much of that land is truly arable, livable? How much of that area has average 70ºF temps where the night-time temps rarely go below 45ºF? Where the rain rarely falls and there's no snow? How many cities are on a beautiful coast and have loads of parks in which to sleep? How many cities have railroad property where, seemingly, the "unsheltered" can make camp with impunity? On and on. We're all here because we love Santa Barbara and think it's a great place to live. Why wouldn't the transients, hobos, winos, bums think the same?

pkww Sep 30, 2019 11:15 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

It's no secret that people sleep outside along this block of Milpas, and in their cars as you move east into the neighborhood. What is wrong with letting some sleep inside? In my view this will help the neighborhood. Also, I live in the neighborhood.

a-1569865286 Sep 30, 2019 10:41 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

I've previously blasted AMG however I see that in fact she has contributed important awareness in this case. She might be a busy body but in instances like this and for that horrific little "tiny homes" project that the city attempted to shove in the Carrillo lot... I'm glad she is raising awareness and on the ball. Too often the city obscures of deliberately under advertises projects it hopes the community won't have time to find out about and fight against.

VinSB Sep 30, 2019 12:13 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

10:41 AMG might soon take on a public nuisance in your neighborhood, on your block. It's the people who stay quiet and look the other way that you have to worry about. Too many are overly concerned over how they might be perceived. Big issues get swept under the rug, until it's too late.

a-1569865153 Sep 30, 2019 10:39 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

BIG Public Nuisance on the horizon. How can the City allow this? What neighborhood is next? Why isn't this in a commercial zone away from residents? Why isn't there a requirement for 24/7 staffing? If this moves forward people need to rethink giving money to or supporting the Salvation Army.

letmego Sep 30, 2019 09:32 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

Does anything make this woman happy? Or anyone happy? "I hate the homeless, we need to DO SOMETHING." "Oh NO, I didn't mean THAT. I just wanted them to go AWAY." Sigh. They don't go away. They don't cease to exist. Let's just continue to do nothing, and see where that gets us. More warming fires till the whole damn town burns down.

PitMix Sep 30, 2019 02:22 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

12:36, how could I have referenced the text that she highlighted in the application document without reviewing the links? Whenever you start highlighting specific info for other people, you are directing their attention to the items you think are important. Thus the bias.

a-1569872016 Sep 30, 2019 12:33 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

AMG surely has an opinion. I can guess what it is too. But she's trying to let people know that there is a meeting, is urging them to come to it and providing information about it. Seems like she wants people to come, hear about the project and make their own decision. We need more AMG's in the world. She's a Dynamo.

a-1569864219 Sep 30, 2019 10:23 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

@LETMEGO AMG is seeking community engagement and information. She offers no opinion on the issue. She is offering facts and trying to get people engaged in the community. How can you dislike this and say she is against it? Seems like anything tied to her, whether she offers an opinion or not, that you or others will attack her for. Can you say Bias? Seems right now that you are biased against anything she says or reports on even if she is just reporting information about a meeting. I think you need to rethink your position and desire to paint AMG black.

RHS Sep 30, 2019 09:06 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

Another complaint about any action taken to address the blatant and obvious needs of a significant section of our population. NO action is acceptable to this crowd. In Bakersfield they are actually now considering a specific plan to arrest homeless people and incarcerate them in the county jail despite the fact that jails cost substantially more to house folks than would humane solutions. (Btw, Bakersfield complains that it too is a Mecca for homeless and says the jail solution will deter them!) We need to create housing for the homeless, mentally ill, mentally disabled, physically handicapped and others who cannot function as "normal" in our society. This housing needs to be distributed equally around the community, not just in some one else's neighborhood. We can't continue to hide the needy and still look in a mirror.

PitMix Sep 30, 2019 10:14 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

Bakersfield willing to spend up to $3M on this plan due to the need of additional correctional officers and other staff. Hopefully this is their own taxes and they won't get a grant from State or Feds which will be our money.

SantaBarbaraObserver Sep 30, 2019 10:05 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

You asked: "Shouldn't the city have a responsibility for those who are needing housing and to locate the housing throughout its neighborhoods?". The answer is no. As a small municipality of less than 100k people, we should not pay for or provide these services at all. It is not the burden nor the duty of the city of Santa Barbara (or any other small city) to house, feed and care for people. Its the duty of the city government to assure public safety and to meet the operational needs of its citizens! ............................ It is the duty of private citizens to care for and pay for the care of people whom they believe deserve their care and their funds or the job of the State and Federal government. It is not the duty of a city to house, feed or provide medical care to anyone. When did we lose our way on this? I have no idea but I do know that the budget and the staff of the city of SB is many times that of any comparable population. We spend a large portion of our city's funds caring for people who are not the citizens of the city. That is not tenable nor is it good. Our city staff is bloated, our budgets stretched to their max and our citizens taxed at a rate far higher than necessary our schools falling apart and the underpinnings of our economy on the brink of a recession. The burden to care for the ill, the downtrodden and the addicted is on society as a whole, not the 30-50% of the population that actually pays the taxes that the city uses to pay for its own excesses and desires. Want to help the homeless? Do it yourself on your time, and your dime.

a-1569861795 Sep 30, 2019 09:43 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

Totally agree we need to work to create housing for those who are "mentally ill, ...and others who cannot function as "normal" in this society". Also, total agreement that the housing and opportunities (what are the housed homeless on S. Alisos supposed to do during the day?) for employment THROUGHOUT the community, not just in one section. For instance, the "funk zone" used to have lower cost housing, but the City in its "wisdom" chose to develop it into a drunk zone for tourists and, of course, locals. Shouldn't the city have a responsibility for those who are needing housing and to locate the housing throughout its neighborhoods? ...I think so.

a-1569858620 Sep 30, 2019 08:50 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

Market Watch just published a report stating that 47% of the nation's "unsheltered homeless" live in California. That adds up to about 250,000 people. Let that number sink in. That's home many homeless are sleeping in tents, bushes, and on the beach every day. A facility on the Eastside is just the beginning if there isn't a dramatic change.

a-1569883153 Sep 30, 2019 03:39 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

RHS- who do you think needs to pay? As a CAlifornian I acknowledge the needs of every unsheltered person. I live on a tight budget. Do I pay first for my fellow Californian? Or all of 6B persons in need? ,

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