Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Reads 9238

By Brian Campbell, District 2 City Council Candidate

I have strong concerns about public safety regarding children and families. Twice last year, Washington Elementary School went into lockout due to homeless men living in their cars in front of the school fighting, throwing bottles over the fence, and creating an unsafe environment on school grounds. Then several parents caught homeless men living in their cars across the street taking pictures of children playing on the soccer field. Two weeks ago at a house by the back entrance to the school, two individuals were lying in a driveway convulsing.

Neighbors have been expressing their concerns to the City for well over a year, about having these unknown people living right next to the school and La Mesa Park where children play.

After stating my concerns and possible solutions, such as not allowing people to park by schools between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. during school days or prohibiting loitering and parking within 500 feet of a school or park (like other cities do), the City said "NO."

When will the City take the lead and help the homeless get off the streets and away from our children and family neighborhoods? Over the last four decades, there have been several Homeless Committees and initiatives started by the City. 

In 2002, the City began writing the county-wide Bringing Our Community Home: 10 Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. They stated permanent supportive housing for those in dire need was the way to help end homelessness.  In 2011, there was C3H (Central Coast Collaborative to end Homelessness) where Mayor Murillo was the Vice-Chair of the Policy Committee.  Dinah Lockhart, Deputy Director of the County’s Housing and Community Division, stated, “What works is permanent housing for higher-needs homeless neighbors.”

So why is it that in Spring 2019 a local reporter wrote that this is the first year there will be a collaborative effort to end homelessness?

The City needs to take the lead and organize all the resources and organizations, they need to quarterback the homeless effort.  The City needs to create;

  • Temporary shelters to get them a place to sleep that is not downtown.
  • Parking lots, so they can park off the street with toilets and trash containers.
  • Storage, so they can leave their belongings someplace safe while they are at a shelter.
  • Central management of all resources: government and nonprofits.
  • We have the technology to broadcast to their cell phones so they know what resources are available (90% of homeless people have cell phones).
  • Once they're safe, they can receive regular help.
  • This will reduce the supportive costs the City and nonprofits are burdened with.


The government has forgotten we are all people, and that we need to work together as a team and as a community. We are not divided; we are supposed to be united. Together we can make differences that help our City. Let’s show the state, the country, the power of working together.

Do you have an opinion on something local? Share it with us at [email protected]. The views and opinions expressed in Op-Ed articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of edhat.

Login to add Comments


Show Comments
a-1572536968 Oct 31, 2019 08:49 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Vote Brisn to end DEm Central Committee control of SB City Council; end totalitarianism in Santa Barbara. Rep Jason Dominguez can’t get a second to motions on homeless ness because all other representatives are owned by DCC.

PitMix Oct 31, 2019 02:24 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Can you tell me what public positions Mr. Campbell has held so we have some idea of what his actual voting record might be if he is elected? I am very nervous about voting for a candidate with no record, because it is easy to say one thing and then do another once they are elected.

Luvaduck Oct 30, 2019 01:34 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

How do the homeless afford cell phones and where are monthly bills sent? The monthly charge for cell phones isn't free and P.O. boxes aren't free if that's where the bills are sent--or perhaps this sort of thing is free to a select few?

SBTownie Oct 30, 2019 02:12 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

There are numerous programs that get them cellphones and they can certainly do pre-paid service. You don't need to have an address. Ever heard of a burner?

Factotum Oct 30, 2019 01:23 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

What are the vagrants doing to help themselves get out of their situation? All I hear is more demands and enablers doing things for them. What are they doing themselves besides reveling in their self-concocted victim status. LA,SF and San Diego have been granted easier access to court guardianships so those that "cannot" can be taken off the streets. Trial project and if successful will be available state wide. Meanwhile expect a flood of the will-nots to come here to escape this new tough love authority to take over their lives and put them in a care facility.

k8 Oct 30, 2019 12:41 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

This just in...


SantaBarbaraObserver Oct 30, 2019 03:55 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

You are right on the money Sam. People have no idea how expensive it is to build here. $600-800 a sqft for a mid-range build. If you go with the cheapest of everything, maybe you can drop that to $500 sqft or a little less for multi-unit buildings. This is just the build cost. Not the land, not the permits, the engineering, the architecture, the title 24 compliance and god knows what else you may need (soil reports, rain water capture, archeological assessments, upgrades to utilities, etc). The list goes on and on. So to build a 1500 sqft home, you're talking 900k in build cost. Add the land and you're at 1.5m for a small home built to today's standards. How on earth do people expect to turn that into "affordable"? The only way they do is by being dishonest (like our local politicians - Murillo for example) or to be completely ignorant. (Like our local politicians - Murillo for example). It seems we have created this mess by telling people who have no financial education, no valuable skills and no planning for their future, that they're due the same thing as others...

SBTownie Oct 30, 2019 03:17 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

@Sam The Dog YES x500. Could not agree more. Great example here in town are the apartments next to the Arlington. I heard they had to rip out $70k of glass shower doors because they "weren't ADA compliant." The local inspector (all of whom have way too much authority and leeway in interpreting the actual law) denied the developers request to amend any shower for any future disabled tenant and instead made them waste $70,000 on glass that was then thrown in the trash. The actual ADA simply states that "reasonable accommodation" be made, which the developer was happy to do should anyone need it. But it wasn't enough for the inspector. Government at work. I consider myself a liberal but man I took the redpill when it comes to this town and how things are run. Everyone demonizes the developers when really they need to be looking at government and code that turns every project here into a financial nightmare.

Sam The Dog Oct 30, 2019 02:51 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

I'm getting tired of the city / state saying we need more affordable housing when it's their very own regulations that prevent more affordable housing from being built. It is so damn expensive to build due to their onerous codes. Not only does it make the actual building more expensive to construct, the codes require significantly more time from the architects and engineers which can easily get into the 6 figure range, and the time value of money as the developers spends YEARS trying to get something approved. The only kids of housing that will pencil out with these requirements is higher-end housing. If low income or affordable housing made financial sense to build, it will be built.

SBTownie Oct 30, 2019 02:15 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

This is so dumb. We KNOW that the cost of building in California is insanely high. Why? ADA regulations, environmental regulations, cost of land, local impossible-to-understand-so-you-have-to-hire-987-expensive-consultants-zoning-and-planning-ordinances, etc. In LA they set aside this same amount for housing... they found that to built one measly studio unit costs $500,000. Yes, $500,000. So we could house 1300 people with this bill.

I say we build camps in the deserts, fence them off, provide unlimited alcohol and cigs, and let them live in outfitted shipping containers.

Why we need to house them in mini Hiltons in the center of some of the most expensive and desirable cities in the world is truly beyond me.

a-1572454557 Oct 30, 2019 09:55 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

I am intrigued by the statements made here. I thought Mr. Campbell was running on a campaign of demonizing homeless people--certainly this was what came across early. But this proposal, in total, offers to do stuff that the city has rejected numerous times in the past. Provide off street parking with sanitary facilities for example. Provide shelters distributed throughout the city. Make available storage space for their personal gear. These are admiral suggestions. I live in the 2d District and am tempted to vote for this man whom I originally dismissed as a provocateur of the right.
Glen Mowrer

doyenne Oct 30, 2019 09:25 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Thank you Brian Campbell for pointing out some common sense solutions for the problem of the street people. We've had too many years of talk and very little action.

Longing2bhome Oct 30, 2019 09:08 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

My step son is a meth & heroine addict. He has had all the love of family and equipped people trying to help him. He only goes to a rehab for a meal and a bed. He does not even stay 1 day. He prefers being homeless. Out of his mouth he said the only thing he likes is heroine and masterb....g. Sorry people, this is the way of homeless. Some DO choose to be addicted and homeless. What is wrong with a city that does not protect the children. It is SICK that they are not prevented from doing their weird stuff in view of a school and impressionable minds and eyes.

a-1572460058 Oct 30, 2019 11:27 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Longing: Your behavior is classic "I am a victim" stuff. Why do you, especially if you came so late into his life, need to attack and belittle him and all other homeless people as well as his mother and gosh knows who else? Why do you need to use your relationship with this person to make your self a victim? Sad and sort of sick.

Roger Oct 30, 2019 11:12 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Don't let the trolls get to you that is what they try to do that is their addiction not all of us listen to them you have explained your situation you don't need to say anymore...

Longing2bhome Oct 30, 2019 11:07 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

It is not abandoning someone when they refuse help. Burn down the house , terrorize the people in the house with violence and destroy the yard to the tune of thousands of dollars. That is how he treats those who try to help and love him. Until you have walked in my shoes, be quiet.

Longing2bhome Oct 30, 2019 11:03 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

I am not his mother. I came into his life when he was 23 years old, 7 years into this addiction. It is his mother that created this problem by being codependent and enabling. Do not criticize or condemn me when you do not know all the facts.

a-1572463549 Oct 30, 2019 12:25 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

@7:41 you are extremely delusional if you think that. I know people who have been addicted to drugs and sought out help because they realized what they were becoming. If you do not get help for your addiction then you are choosing to remain an addict. They still had jobs and a place to live because they still felt they should provide for themselves, even though they had an addiction. The "homeless" who are living on the streets are doing so because they either like living on the streets, would rather live on the streets than work, cannot control their drug habits so they lose their job/house or they simply believe they should be given free housing in one of the most expensive places in the country just because they want it. You don't help people by going easy on them. Coddling kids is how they become spoiled and never grow up. Your form of "compassion" is just enabling them to not change and to never grow up. It sounds harsh but you have to lay down your foot sometimes just like you would with your kids when they are misbehaving.

Factotum Oct 30, 2019 12:06 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

NewsPress reports a meeting at the Unitarian Society confirmed over 70% of these street people are addicts. They are not a small number. 70% can be classified as lazt bums who are draining out our city's resources and welcome.

a-1572449197 Oct 30, 2019 08:26 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

The percentage of our homeless people who want “to be lazy bums” is very small. And the percentage who want to be drug addicted (or alcohol for that matter) is zero. Nobody chooses affliction.

a-1572446490 Oct 30, 2019 07:41 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

The percentage of our homeless people who want “to be lazy bums” is very small. And the percentage who want to be drug addicted (or alcohol for that matter) is zero. Nobody chooses affliction.

77777777 Oct 30, 2019 07:31 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

I so agree. Compassion is the only decent response to those who are homeless, regardless of the cause. Small minded judgmentalism will lead to the end of us all. There is so much wealth in Santa Barbara, you would think we could provide shelter for those who are unable to provide for themselves. Judge not. Period.

a-1572445593 Oct 30, 2019 07:26 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

How is being sick and tired of people taking advantage of our lax laws to do whatever they want lack of compassion? We have compassion for those who wish to lift themselves out homelessness and become productive members of society and the mentally ill, but you can't help those who just want to be lazy bums or drug addicted vagrants.

SBLetsGetAlong Oct 30, 2019 08:05 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

So what do you propose to help get the homeless to not be “homeless”.
What are you doing to help? I know all I see is a bunch of politicians saying everything is fine, there’s no problem. Then Home for Good said yesterday there’s not enough funding. Despite $2.5m grant in 2018 and another $6m grant this yr and there are many more millions in grants that have been received and the City saying they spend $5m every yr supporting the homeless.

I saw this guy as wanting to protect children, there’s too much violence by our schools, like the multiple stabbing right next to the JR High.
There are people that the police don’t want to talk to because of their difficult and confrontational demeanors living right next to schools and in our parks.

So what do you propose to do to help? I think SB is ready to help, you lead the way.

GeneralTree Oct 29, 2019 10:06 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Thanks Trump and alt-right for dehumanizing the less fortunate. So glad you cut the minimal amount of Federal money going to the Meals on Wheels program. Well done.

yacht rocked Oct 29, 2019 08:02 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Hope Ranch doesn't have this problem because the streets are private, road access is limited from surrounding community streets (e.g. Cuervo Ave near Campanil Dr), and there are private security patrols. Perhaps more neighborhoods should consider this approach. "We'll pay for our roads if we directly control them." ;)

a-1572402188 Oct 29, 2019 07:23 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Check out this newly posted ad on Craigslist's Lost & Found. Now we're supposed to help vagrants find their "lost" junk and even donate to help them replace their coolers, blankets, etc. *******************Oh, brother:************wool blankets, etc.lost at Alice Keck Park, seeking donations (Santa Barbara)

© craigslist - Map data © OpenStreetMap
(google map)

Lost on Friday Oct 25 at Alice Keck Park:

small picnic cooler, soft, wheeled, green and white
wool blanket, light blue , large
wool blanket, thick, black, red, purple, with horses
sleeping mat, folding, rectangle cube
white turtle neck
warm jacket
light brown lambs wool cap with visor
white knee socks
cough syrup

these were last seen near Arrellaga St., inside park, by double benches.
This is the park with the duck pond, but in the far corner.

Did anyone see who took it? (police, park workers, homeless, teens, etc.) It was a wheeled cooler with
elastic straps and other items in a black trash bag on top.
Seeking donations, replacements, or cash. Thank you.

Factotum Oct 29, 2019 04:54 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Stop using the term" homeless". Ends in circular arguments and no solutions which is why we have wasted four decades. Triage this population into (1) the have nots: (2) the cannots: and (3) the will nots. Each has its own solutions. Have nots are already taken care of by our generous social safety net and subsidized housing. The have nots are not the problem. The cannots are mentally impaired and cannot live on their own- they all need to be in a lock-down state care institution. The willnots are the street addicts and illegal campsers who cause 80% of the problems. They can move out of this area or face jail for trespass and any number of other illegal public conduct crimes that would put the rest of us in jail too.. No other choices for the willnots - get rid of them and 80% of the "homeless" problem is solved..

forrestmv18 Oct 30, 2019 01:00 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Your only omission was the further categorization of "will nots" that are criminals and not just because they are drug addicts but because they are former convicts that were let out do to Prop 47. Some of these criminals, perhaps most, are also drug addicts.

winter Oct 29, 2019 04:34 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

We need to give them a bus ticket....out.
I went to college in New York City...late 70's.
It was so dangerous...
Slowly, was cleaned up...Times Square, became family friendly.
I get scared here...a few times a week.
Taking care of seniors, we get accosted for money everywhere....

The reason people are mentioning a homeless day camp...my opinion, is Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, toss them out at 6 am...
Probably hoping they will work, or go to AA ?
They hit the streets...and they are
This is a huge problem...we should not coddle.

RHS Oct 30, 2019 09:46 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Yes, the whole LPS mythology is disturbing. LPS was passed as part of an attempt to reform the mental health care problem. First was to close/limit the locked care hospitals. Second was to provide community care and shelter for that population. It was bi-partisan. But the conservatives who wanted defund locked care as too costly never funded the local care that was promised. Liberals were snookered as they have been so often (sentencing reform, bail reform, juvenile reform and so on).

forrestmv18 Oct 30, 2019 01:03 AM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Your attention to detail about the ACTUAL history is probably troubling to people that have been intentionally or unintentionally telling lies about what actually happened way back when...

a-1572412387 Oct 29, 2019 10:13 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Only a year or two previous to Reagan signing the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS) in 1967, a new Cottage Industry started up in Santa Barbara. There were many many homes locally which took in the "not harmful to themselves or others" cast-off mental patients. There were some areas of town which had clusters of these "Care Homes." There were no signs, each home was assigned a Case Worker. The Care Home owners weren't trained in any special way that I know of. The patients all had their psychiatrists to visit. There was "The Fellowship Club" on upper Chapala St which offered activities and social interaction. This was one way the mentally ill were housed and kept safe. As you may have noticed (or not) these homes all shut down, one by one. Most of the owners passed away and the homes/properties became so valuable they were bought and remodeled. Back in the day, such Care Homes were no big deal. The "patients" weren't, for the most part, a problem for neighbors and raised no eyebrows. There were no zoning issues. Now, with our chi-chi homeowners, value of properties through the roof and densely populated neighborhoods, this type of housing would never fly.

macpuzl Oct 29, 2019 10:07 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Good riddance to the business people who are leaving, as they will make room for the smart business people who know that we have the most vibrant economy in the nation.

420722 Oct 29, 2019 07:50 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Yes they are leaving, and sadly they are the core that California once was. The hard working, business owning, self made middle class. They are being replaced with self absorbed trust fund millennials and homeless (the will not type). It’s time for a change.

CoastWatch Oct 29, 2019 06:50 PM
Opinion: We Need to Help Our City and Homeless

Dems have controlled the ONCE "Golden State of California" for DECADES and the vagrant issues all over the State are the worst they have ever been...It's no wonder Californians are leaving for other States.


Please Login or Register to comment on this.