South County Non-Congregate Shelter Opens

South County Non-Congregate Shelter Opens title=
South County Non-Congregate Shelter Opens
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A person sleeping outside the Apple Store at 928 State Street (Photo: Ken Baxter)

Source: Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

A non-congregate shelter has opened in the City of Santa Barbara for elderly and medically vulnerable persons experiencing homelessness who do not have the ability to practice physical distancing or self-isolate. The purpose of the shelter is to protect our most vulnerable community members. Persons experiencing homelessness are more likely to have complications from COVID-19 leading to hospitalization and intensive care.

A task force which includes County and community partners has been working with street outreach workers and service providers to identify persons currently living in emergency shelters and who are unsheltered. Prioritization will be applied using the following criteria:

•       Persons who do not have a place to shelter, are 65 years of age and over with serious underlying medical conditions.

•       Persons who do not have a place to shelter and are under 65 years of age with serious underlying medical conditions

•       Persons who do not have a place to shelter and are 65 years of age or over.

Eligibility is verified through a review of medical records or an in-person evaluation, if necessary.

“The opening of this shelter site means that some of our most vulnerable community members will have a safe space to practice physical distancing and be protected from COVID-19 exposure” shared George Chapjian, Santa Barbara County’s Director of Community Services. “Our task force is committed to protecting the health and well-being of all people experiencing homelessness. Working collaboratively, we have taken an important step in slowing the spread of this virus in our community.”

For additional information about Emergency Shelter Operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, please call Community Services Department, Homeless Assistance Programs 805-560-1090.

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m-cubed Apr 21, 2020 02:01 PM
South County Non-Congregate Shelter Opens

It is good news. I live downtown and walk past homeless people every day and feel awful for them. Any small percentage of people who openly oppose programs like this have delusions about their 50 thousand rolls of toilet paper and metric tonne of non-perishable astronaut food making them elite.

Bird Apr 22, 2020 07:36 AM
South County Non-Congregate Shelter Opens

Agreed— anyone who doesn't agree, take a look at the Cacique and Milpas roundabout underpasses and see what people are having for shelter.

a-1587567747 Apr 22, 2020 08:02 AM
South County Non-Congregate Shelter Opens

Good follow-on to Earth Day--now worth day? Everyone on the earth should have dignity when trying to live their lives in an safe and healthful way--with justice, dignity and respect for their issues.
Now is the time to make this a permanent process and not just pandemic pandering of promises.
We actually create the pandemics and health crises when we ignore the priority literally right under our nose! Ironic that testing/detection is with the nose now. These folks grow in number and suffer too much "ventilation" as a nightly event.
Let's get rid of the label (homeless) and treat the person with unique needs and issues--there are resources out their too socially distant who claim the do this--and they are funded to act. May is also Older American Month-- Let's "Make our Mark" (the 2020 Federal theme for Older American's Month) as a community and make it happen. Everyone gets older every day!

Luvaduck Apr 22, 2020 08:19 AM
South County Non-Congregate Shelter Opens

My sister is thinking of "moving home" to the small town in a state bordering the Great Lakes now that she's a widow. The few expensive homes run about $250K. The average is about $80K and there are some going for under $40. There are also a number of abandoned farm houses where agribusiness bought up acreage. I'm not suggesting anyone move there but pointing out that there are much less expensive places to shelter than Santa Barbara. No idea what social services are available and the weather's not as good, but that could be an option for those who "travel".

a-1587569113 Apr 22, 2020 08:25 AM
South County Non-Congregate Shelter Opens

I agree with what you said. Either you don't want to be explicit, or you miss the point - many people want to be homeless, or are enabled to by the state and local gov. :) Time to end the myth that homelessness is about housing costs. Like you mention, there are thousands and thousands of towns that are very affordable around the country. One doesn't have to live in a uniquely desirable beach town with perfect weather. One can move to any number of decent and affordable places elsewhere. I'm so tired of this debate. Maybe in 10% of cases homelessness is about housing costs. In the other 90% it's about addiction and subsequent mental illness, criminality, enabling by the state/local government, coddling by PC idiots (for the record, I'm a "liberal"), and overall personal and societal dysfunctions. Housing isn't it. No one has a god-given right to live in California. If you can't afford it, we shouldn't have to pay to keep you here.

a-1587570440 Apr 22, 2020 08:47 AM
South County Non-Congregate Shelter Opens

Good idea Luvaduck. How are these homeless people to afford the cost of traveling to this town, presumably in Michigan? Also, does this town have adequate mental health and/or addiction facilities as the majority of the homeless population suffers from this. Will they provide such services for free until this person gets on their feet? What are the job prospects here? There's a lot more to think about than a cheap house in another state.

PitMix Apr 22, 2020 03:01 PM
South County Non-Congregate Shelter Opens

Remember these comments with all of the gig people being unemployed and not eligible for decent unemployment benefits. They will benefit from hearing your advising them to take their $167/wk and move to Michigan. Where the utility bills run about $400/mo during the winter.

a-1587647511 Apr 23, 2020 06:11 AM
South County Non-Congregate Shelter Opens

8:47AM: I agree with you about the probable lack of mental health, etc. facilities, but look at the local/SB City budget: not much (anything?) here for those with such needs. What we have is an absence of freezing weather so that for probably all but 20 or so nights sleeping outside is tolerable. As for job prospects, few to none available in Santa Barbara.

taz Apr 22, 2020 10:26 AM
South County Non-Congregate Shelter Opens

Wow. That picture tells so much.
More than a "thousand words." ;)
I'm happy about the shelter - it protects all of us to not get covidified. Imagine no help/no care for people who could die on the streets of this horrid disease. The already elderly and compromised. Thanks for the efforts of the people who got this humane alternative in place.

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