Santa Barbara County Steps Up to Governor's 100-Day Challenge

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By the County of Santa Barbara, Community Services Department

Santa Barbara County is participating in a 100-day challenge set by Governor Newsom to reduce homelessness throughout California by resolving encampments along county freeways and railroad corridors. These local housing efforts are made possible by a $2.5 million State of California Encampment Resolution Funding (CERF) grant awarded to the County to move people indoors, reducing danger from fires and vehicle/train right-of-way pedestrian strikes. The Challenge officially launched on July 6, 2022, and will conclude on October 14, 2022.

The goal is to move at least 20 unhoused people into shelter and 20 unhoused persons into permanent housing by the end of the 100 days. Santa Barbara County and its cities, along with Caltrans and Union Pacific Railroad, are working with community organizations and partners who have experience in resolving homelessness. To meet the 100-day timeline, the countywide team will map all the camps in the transportation corridors, create a by-name list of inhabitants and enroll person(s) in services using outreach workers.

County elected officials are on board with the 100-Day challenge. “While more people are slipping into homelessness than ever before, we are also making the strongest effort in our history to bring people in from the streets and encampments. I believe that the 100-Day Challenge, in conjunction with our other work, can help us bring services to and house more individuals than last year,” said First District Supervisor Das Williams.

Fourth District Supervisor Bob Nelson added, “Turning a blind eye to encampments along transit corridors is neither safe nor humane. It puts the general public at risk and allows some of our most vulnerable community members to further risk victimization. Encampment resolution through shelters, housing, and intensive case management is the only solution for our state and community to turn the tide on homelessness.”

Homeless advocates with lived experience agree the 100-Day Challenge could accelerate encampment cleanups. “I’ve been saying all along we need to have places for people to go. The ‘move-them-along’ approach is inhumane. The reason they’re camping next to the freeway is because there is no place else to go. Let’s change that,” said David Hopkins, formerly homeless, now working with the Committee For Social Justice in homeless outreach.

Community involvement is vital to the success of the encampment cleanup efforts within 100 days. Interested in supporting our goal? Here’s what’s needed now:

  1. Housing rental units (rental subsidy and landlord incentives are available).

  2. Donations of gently used furniture basics suitable for studio and 1 bedroom apartments. Beds/mattresses are not accepted

  3. New household items such as bedding, towels, pots, dishes. In addition, consumables such as toiletries, food gift cards. “Welcome home” baskets with these items are gratefully received by formerly homeless community residents, and can be provided at relatively low cost.

To coordinate a donation drop off please contact Alice Villarreal Redit 805-897-1036.

For more information on how to encampment response and services for persons experiencing homelessness, please contact Lucille Boss or Emily Allen .

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fitz Aug 25, 2022 11:24 AM
Santa Barbara County Steps Up to Governor's 100-Day Challenge

I hope top priority is given to the growing encampment that comes right out to Hwy 1 at the entrance to Lompoc. It's in plain sight and no agency will do anything about it. Everyone sees it. There is another one around the corner on 246, a bit elevated from the road. In full view also. Sit at zotovich or capulin or transcendence and it is visible to all the tourists and wine tasters. Come on, Lompoc, or Caltrans or County, please shut these two encampments down.

liberty Aug 25, 2022 01:23 PM
Santa Barbara County Steps Up to Governor's 100-Day Challenge

Just in time for his presidential run Newsom wants to get serious about homelessness? And also recently vetoed a state legislature bill that would have allowed the state to give out free drugs at drug sites? What took him so long? What was he doing all of this time before? Is this all just to look god for his upcoming run-for-president TV commercials? Do people actually buy this?

SBLetsGetAlong Aug 25, 2022 01:29 PM
Santa Barbara County Steps Up to Governor's 100-Day Challenge

Must be election season.
$2,500,000 over 100 days to house 40 people in the county which has over 2,000 known homeless.
And how much if the $2,500,000 goes to the administrators overseeing the spending of this money? $300,000-$500,000? That’s a lot of admin fees for 100 days.
And when this funding expires, back on the streets?
Our govt only cares about cleaning up the messes when they need your vote.

Chip of SB Aug 25, 2022 01:32 PM
Santa Barbara County Steps Up to Governor's 100-Day Challenge

I don’t see any mention of addiction or mental health. Without addressing these issues, there is no hope for getting the people who live in encampments into permanent housing. Giving a meth or fentanyl addict in an apartment to live in will not stop them from going out on the street to obtain drugs and sleeping in encampments. We need to help these people heal, not just move them out of sight.

Voice of Reason Aug 25, 2022 02:32 PM
Santa Barbara County Steps Up to Governor's 100-Day Challenge

Chip, this is very typical of this line of political thinking; throw, or promise to throw, money at a symptom of the problem ahead of elections, ignore the root causes of the actual problem, then say "look what I did to help this problem" when, at best, all that was actually accomplished was provide some temporary and isolated relief of a symptom while doing nothing to address the problem. The recent pledge of student debt relief would be a similar, and more egregious, example.

yacht rocked Aug 26, 2022 06:26 AM
Santa Barbara County Steps Up to Governor's 100-Day Challenge

Unfortunately, without addiction or mental health services, many of the newly-housed will be kicked out of their housing for the same old reasons: mental illness, trauma, poverty, and the inability to care for themselves.

a-1661522127 Aug 26, 2022 06:55 AM
Santa Barbara County Steps Up to Governor's 100-Day Challenge

Fact check re: Pelosi & Newsom:

There are ties between the Pelosi and Newsom families — both prominent California families — that go back several decades, as outlined in a recent commentary piece published by the nonprofit journalism venture CalMatters. But Nancy Pelosi is not Gavin Newsom’s aunt. In reality, Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law, Ron Pelosi, was married to the late Belinda Barbara Newsom, who was Gavin Newsom’s aunt.

In other words, Pelosi’s brother-in-law was the uncle (through marriage) of Gavin Newsom. But Barbara Newsom and Ron Pelosi divorced decades ago, in 1977, and Barbara Newsom died in 2008.

Luvaduck Aug 26, 2022 09:53 AM
Santa Barbara County Steps Up to Governor's 100-Day Challenge

Would you rather be a "camper" here or in Mississippi or Detroit or Phoenix or Oklahoma or Bakersfield? Someplace the weather is awful or police enforcement is punative or the "pickins" are not good? Being homeless doesn't mean you're stupid. If the ones currently here were to vanish, within 6 months or less, the vacancies would be filled. What we need are mental institutions to care for the ones with mental disabilities or problems and help them regain what they can or at least save them from abuse, retraining for those who want a different life-style and will work to achieve it and jail for the predators. Substance abusers are likely to stay the same until they OD or some change within them puts them on a different path. What that would be is anyone's guess and probably personal.

Mebk Aug 26, 2022 11:03 AM
Santa Barbara County Steps Up to Governor's 100-Day Challenge

I hope they try to do something for the hard-working younger people that are trying so desperately to survive in Santa Barbara. Their taxpayers the contributors yet they can’t afford to live here so many that are born here can’t stay. We have friends working two and three jobs just pay their rent here therefore giving housing to homeless is very helpful to them but let’s try to help those that are trying to stay here also. today

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