Goleta Residents Discuss City’s Homelessness Issues

Source: City of Goleta

The City of Goleta would like to thank the community for the great turnout at this week’s Community Open House on Homelessness as well as the service providers for taking the time to speak with residents. The December 11 event was a unique opportunity for the community to interact on a one-on-one basis with City staff and homelessness service providers, as well as provide ideas and input on homelessness in our community. Organizations including the County of Santa Barbara, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, Isla Vista Youth Projects, New Beginning’s Safe Parking Program, Showers of Blessing, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Barbara County Behavioral Wellness, Equalitech and others were on hand to talk personally to attendees.

Approximately 150 people attended the Open House. In addition to members of the general public, City staff and service providers were able to speak with a number of current or former homeless individuals. Local dignitaries or their representatives in attendance included: City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte, Mayor Pro Tempore Kyle Richards, Councilmember James Kyriaco, 2nd District County Board of Supervisor Gregg Hart, and representatives for 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann and State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson.

Community input is an essential part of the City of Goleta’s effort to develop its first-ever comprehensive Homelessness Strategic Plan. The City has released a survey, which was also available at the Open House, in which we hope to hear from residents, businesses, service providers, and those who are or who have experienced homelessness. To date, the City has received over 300 completed surveys. The survey can be found online in both English and Spanish at the following links:

The Community Open House and survey are elements of a larger homelessness strategic planning effort, which has included stakeholder meetings, best practice discussions with communities nationwide, and years of partnership supporting regional homelessness efforts. While the City of Goleta has a history of supporting organizations and regional efforts serving those at risk of homelessness and those experiencing homelessness, the City currently does not have a comprehensive plan analyzing the state of homelessness in our area and the most effective steps forward. City Council and staff believe having a strategic plan will provide important direction and clarity around needs, service gaps, and priorities in order to make effective and strategic funding decisions that serve both the existing homeless population, as well as those at risk of becoming homeless. Once adopted, the Homelessness Strategic Plan will help guide and coordinate efforts to prevent and address homelessness within the City of Goleta.

We appreciate the community’s involvement in this process thus far and look forward to continued engagement during this important effort. For more information, please contact Dominique Samario, Management Analyst for the City of Goleta, at dsamario@cityofgoleta.org or 805-690-5126. Learn more about the City’s Homelessness Strategic Plan at https://tinyurl.com/GoletaHomelessnessPlan.


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  1. Not an area for federal jurisdiction, nor SCOTUS ruling. Nothing in the US Constitutioin grants an express federal right to free housing at taxpayer expense. This is an issue reserved to the states and the state can issue rules, regulations and remedies. Get on it, Monique Limon and Hannah-Beth Jackson. We gave you billions of dollars after passing MHSA to take the “can nots” off the streets. Federal welfare and private philanthropy takes care of the “have nots”. Now it is up to you, state legislators to get rid of the “will nots”, because no municipalities or county can answer this latest ACLU unfunded mandate- “free” housing for all comers or else they can camp in any public location they choose. No, they can’t. Not going to happen.

  2. A law of nature is that the amount of a behavior is proportional to the amount of money the government spends on it. The more money that is taken from the taxpayers’ pockets equals greater numbers of homeless visiting our city. Cut the spending and they’ll either go someplace else or, heaven forbid, get a job.

  3. Just remove the large encampments along the tracks and in the Freeway easements. Officials know about these and just seem to ignore them. One large encampment was razed recently. That’s a good start. If all the encampments are razed, some of the homeless might then get the help that is already offered by public health and other private/public agencies.

  4. Most of the money that is supposed to go towards helping the homeless goes toward operation of shelters, and paying employees that are supposed to help the homeless. The shelters have rules many homeless people are not willing to follow so we have Homeless Inc. instead.

  5. No such thing as “homeless” – meaningless term. They are: (1) Have nots – taken care of by our generous welfare system; (2) Can nots – MHSA raises billions of dollars and should be placed under court order in lock down care sanitariums; (3) Will-nots: jail or leave the area.

  6. I’ve heard that 77% of Santa Barbara’s homeless are local from Santa Barbara COUNTY (including Santa Maria, Lompoc, etc.). I wonder what other criteria goes into this designation of being “local.” How long have they lived here? Were they ever employed here? Was their claim of being local somehow verified? I haven’t heard of anyone questioning how the 77% figure was derived.

  7. I realize that my idea is not specific to Goleta City limits – but hear me out. I recently read that the Earl Warren Showgrounds is in financial straits. I know that the Showgrounds have a multitude of quality stalls used for high dollar value show horses. Given that a homeless person is capable of sleeping in a ditch, why not open the horse stalls for homeless housing. Having spent many a wet camping trip trapped in a tent, I would gladly move into a freshly lined with sweet grass stall for my nightly repose. Have the Homeless Incorporated machine pay Earl Warren a stipend for costs and the homeless get to lie in a manger for a night. Compassion and Capitalism – what’s not to like.

  8. With respect to your public history Roger, the idea that it is corrupt or bad to pay people to help address the homeless needs is destructive. The excuse that the homeless won’t comply with rules and the inference that such rules are therefore inappropriate is silly. All of us have to comply with rules in order to live in society. While this is difficult for some 40% or so of the homeless with mental health issues, it is not the idea of rules that is the problem. This latter population just needs different rules and probably different housing such as locked care in some cases.

  9. The implication of these snide questions seems to be that the homeless here are not in fact local and therefore we need not to help them I think. This rationalization is just another way to avoid social responsibility. Maybe people who think this way are out there looking for the Santa Barbara County homeless in other places in order to help them and bring the “home”? I doubt it.

  10. Not really, I read California has HALF of the nations homeless, while we do not have half of the mentally ill and drug addicted. It is something unique about how California handles / not handles the problem that is different than other states, even focusing on those states with similarly favorable climates.

  11. It’s an interesting idea. One catch is that when one officially invites humans to sleep somewhere one is then obligated to provide sanitary facilities (toilets). But I like your idea, and porta-potties could be provided if currently available toilet facilities are not sufficient. Then some people would push for more, saying “Straw in a stall! That’s not humane!” Are there many neighbors who would argue against this? How would homeless people get there? Is there a convenient bus line? And it would have to be made clear that horses would have priority during equestrian events, which could be a bit awkward… But I like it.

  12. The concern (by some, not me) is not that non-locals don’t need or deserve help, but that by offering services we are attracting people from other areas. I suppose there is some of that, but what attracts non-local homeless people here is the same as what attracts others: easy weather, beautiful location. However, I have been to central and northern California and seen homeless people in many cities along the 101 and I-5 corridors, even in cold climates, so I’m not sure we are getting a lot more homeless than is our statistical share. And even if we don’t care about them as individuals, there are costs to not helping them (ER visits, police interactions, etc.). The trick is to find the most cost effective ways to make a real difference for those who can be helped.

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