Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside
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.
- Salvation Army HEAP Grant Application: https://tinyurl.com/SA-
- Santa Barbara Housing Authority Letter: https://tinyurl.com/SA-
- Planning Consult Letter: https://tinyurl.com/SA-
- Cursory Planing Review: https://tinyurl.com/
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