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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81 Comments

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Yeti Sep 29, 2019 02:54 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

I just love how the city decides to shoe horn a project like this into a residential family neighborhood with out the requirement for a CUP, EIR or that the residents abstain from drugs or alcohol. I can only assume that none of the highly paid folks that work at the city live within a block of this proposed facility. I wonder IF there is a requirement that the residents have no history abusing children.
This proposal is insane, considering that this facility as proposed would be TWO BLOCKS From three elementary schools( Adelante Charter, Cesar Chavez Elementary and Franklin Elementary).. and near two parks next to these schools. It sounds like a potential disaster waiting to happen. Very sad in a town like ours.

a-1569801056 Sep 29, 2019 04:50 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

Two or three blocks are further away than are the homeless, those living in vans along Soledad, adjacent to Franklin School and Yanonali Park. They move from one side of the street to the next on street sweeping days. Broken glass has remained for days in the street. It's not a street or an area that's comfortable to walk at night. To allow that level of housing, with stuff strewn on the sidewalks, very clearly the city doesn't give even a hoot for the eastside. It will be interesting to hear exactly what this proposal is. If no CUP is required for this usage in a residential, R2 neighborhood, indeed, the project can be placed anywhere. According to Zillow.com, the property, 0.34 acres, with an attractive-looking house, sold in October, 2017 for $1,395,000 and is worth more now.

CoastWatch Sep 29, 2019 05:04 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

What you folks don't seem to understand is that those that run "Homeless Inc." and work for "Homeless Inc." NEED these housing projects and vagrant facilities to remain living in SB... Do you think they want to live in Fresno or B'field....?

VinSB Sep 29, 2019 05:49 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

Your point is understood, but how about placing these facilities near County Public Health on San Antonio Road? The beds are needed for the mentally ill and drug addicted homeless near needed services, NOT amidst families/ residential neighborhoods.

a-1569869734 Sep 30, 2019 11:55 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

VINSB 10 3 SEP 29, 2019 05:49 PM --------But how are the then sheltered "unsheltered" supposed to get to their usual begging sites? How will they get to their drug deals and liquor stores? Have you no compassion? Are these poor people supposed to do without their substances? I suppose free bus passes must be allotted as well, so that they can then continue to make it back to downtown stores and onramps.

a-1569850486 Sep 30, 2019 06:34 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

I think we all agree that something has to be done about our homeless population. Many of these people are quietly and safely living on the streets and aren't a bother or danger to anyone. They won't be providing this living situation to people that are dangerous addicts! The goal is to help the community.

I agree that housing near the county clinic also makes sense, there is a bus line nearby and medical resources. That makes a lot of sense to me for a larger housing facility!

I have really mixed emotions about how to handle things with our homeless. I think it's because many of them choose that life, as opposed to working or doing things that would enable them to have things that many of us work so hard to have. I think able bodied and able minded people should work, while also feeling that those who have mental and physical obstacles do need more help. Addicts need rehab and then they need to work once they are sober. I don't want oue city to enable but I do want our city to do something and help. Hoping these programs have strict rules for behavior and conduct and that people are required to work in some capacity.

CoastWatch Sep 30, 2019 07:16 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

Municipalities are not Social Welfare organizations. City responsibilities include public safety, roads and water/sewer infrastructure, airport/harbor and parks.... NOT social outreach which has no end to a means.

VinSB Sep 30, 2019 07:58 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

According to this article, there aren't sobriety or mental health services requirements: "Under Housing First programs residents will not be required to abstain from drugs or alcohol or seek mental health treatment ... 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."

PitMix Sep 30, 2019 08:32 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

VINSB, I looked for the language you used to describe the oversight in the application and did not find it. Seems that you are using misleading language to argue your case, as is common these days. Care to actually provide some quotes to make your case?

a-1569857960 Sep 30, 2019 08:39 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

Current plan is to get those that use medical services the most off the street. These are often the ones that are mentally ill and severely addicted to drugs or alcohol. Just placing this population in housing won't work. They need intensive services and there will not be anyone on site to oversee the property. I also hate to say it, but this likely will become a magnet for other homeless people to gather at during the day and at night. Who is going to prevent it?

a-1569858461 Sep 30, 2019 08:47 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

14 bedrooms will be available for lease at the property. There is no office space for the Salvation Army. The HEAP Applications says: ---- "The Salvation Army is proposing to utilize HEAP funding for the acquisition and development of property at 15 S. Alisos Street in the City of Santa Barbara to create 14 “shared housing” permanent supportive housing units." (14 beds.) ---- "Case management and other supportive services will be provided on site by Salvation Army staff, with referrals provided to other local social services providers as appropriate." (This can't be provided on-site unless is it on a drop in only basis. There are no rooms or office space. Every room will be leased to a tenant.) ---- Read the documents at the links provided. It is all there.

VinSB Sep 30, 2019 12:02 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

PIXMIX, I see that you feel very strongly about this issue, as do many of us here. Not sure what you were referring to at 8:32, my quoting the above article in which I stated I was doing so and included quotation marks, or my comments that clearly represented original ideas and my personal opinion?

a-1569857707 Sep 30, 2019 08:35 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

i am friends with a long-homeless couple who lived on the beach, one near-alcoholic and one mentally ill. They finally got a slot in the Garden apartments and really lived blissfully (he passed away last year). In almost all of us is the childhood kernel of how to snuggle down, visit neighborly, prepare food and keep one's precious little space liveable, and everybody should have the chance. A little dwelling with all the furnishings and kitchen and bath stuff should be provided and even if the experiment falls on its head, we will learn something and a couple of fraught years for those people will have passed by. A New York experiment has shown that the really ill need closer supervision than seems to be planned for this one in SB, as sometimes they really don't know how to keep themselves fed and have trouble with, e.g., stoves, but that just points out the need for careful choosing, couples if possible perhaps ..... let's give it a go. By now, modern children have probably had the discussion in their own families of what dignity down-and-out disadvantaged people should be afforded, having seen it on the street or on television. We can all handle it, we aren't naive anymore.

a-1569858450 Sep 30, 2019 08:47 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

I agree there needs caring, thoughtful help to those who are homeless. I am not at all sure that plopping a facility in the middle of a quiet residential block, with no oversight, no requirements for living is the way to proceed. After all, all have rights, and that includes property-tax-paying and $$rental neighbors, not just those who need public assistance to survive in this very expensive city.

a-1569859051 Sep 30, 2019 08:57 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

You point to a project that isn't working. Then you say to" give it a go." You don't seem to understand that the residents will have to live with a failed experiment. The owner will have vested rights to continue operating a property that may become a nuisance to the neighborhood and community. This plan for this neighborhood is half baked at best. The Tiny Homes plans was to take the worst of the worst of the Street. This is the same plan without any supervision. Some might be able to transition to being housed but many will have problems. I can't believe you want to inflict these problems on this neighborhood. The City needs to demand that there is staff on the property 24/7 and it needs a conditional use permit which can be terminated if there are too many problems on the property or related to it.

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-1569859769 Sep 30, 2019 09:09 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

I hope that the facility is "just the beginning". The fact demonstrated by your statistic is that CA has refused to face its problems and provide housing for the needy, not that CA is more inundated in homeless than other parts of the country. So let's start.

PitMix Sep 30, 2019 09:14 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

Why does California with 12% of the US population have to take care of 47% of the homeless? There is something very wrong with this picture. And SB, with about 90,000 people, should only have to take care of 90000/320000000*250000=70 homeless people. Any money above that should come from the feds, the state, or the cities where those people were born, if you want to get biblical about it. Why don't our reps talk more about this?

a-1569861032 Sep 30, 2019 09:30 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

@Pit, CA doesn't have to care for 47% of the nation's homeless. But it does. Those reps have spoken about it. Their solution is to get more monies from the Fed in order to bolster the Homeless Inc. solutions. They want their budgets increased...fixing the "homeless problem" is an opportunity not a problem.

letmego Sep 30, 2019 09:34 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

PITMIX, it's pretty obvious why California shoulders the burden. #1 our housing is incredibly expensive. #2 weather. If you find yourself homeless, addicted, whatever and living in Cleveland - you want to stay in Cleveland? Or do you want to go somewhere with milder weather?

a-1569861416 Sep 30, 2019 09:36 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

If numbers are being used, I think we need to know how many SB City is helping. 250,000 IS a large number but SB City's number is 887 from the recent count, down 100 from 2017 -- and a majority live in SB City, 887 of the 1133 total unsheltered. Why is that? Santa Maria city is now the largest city in SB County, 16% larger than SB (107,104 vs 92,101); its unsheltered homeless population has increased to 464, from 422 in 2017. Why shouldn't the homeless facilities be spread out throughout the county, why shouldn't the largest city provide for the largest county population? Santa Barbara is thought to be a very rich city, but it is not. Sure, there are pockets of wealth and the median household income is higher than Santa Maria's, but it is lower than the County's. A resident of the eastside who has lived in other parts of the city, I understand the concern and, yes, the complaints about this: fair should be fair! The need fulfillment, important, as it is, should be spread throughout the city - and - the county.

RHS Sep 30, 2019 10:36 AM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

47% of the nations UNSHELTERED homeless were found to live in CA, not 47% of the nation's total homeless population. This seems to me to mean that other parts of the country have actually taken steps to provide shelter of some sort to their local needy whereas CA continues to engage in denial and conspiracy theory. PS--the CA homeless are not all natives of CA. But the US homeless population contains a lot of CA folks living outside the state. These things are diffuse. Where a person is "from" does not mean they don't have a need we should consider.

PitMix Sep 30, 2019 12:36 PM
Community Meeting on Homeless Facility Slated for the Eastside

"... in New York City, which has a court-ordered right to shelter, approximately 95 percent of the 79,000 homeless people sleep indoors. In California, by contrast, 68 percent of the state’s 130,000 homeless sleep outdoors in the elements.".....The difference is that 1) New York has required shelter beds for all homeless for a while, and 2) New York has freezing wet weather while CA has moderate temps and extensive dry periods. So it is much more feasible to live rough here than in NY.

a-1569882984 Sep 30, 2019 03:36 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? ,

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? ,

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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