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Local News

Housing Authority Plans New Detox Center for West Downtown Neighborhood

In wake of Peabody School protest, stepped-up neighborhood outreach planned for Council for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse facility

A single-residence house in a West Downtown Santa Barbara neighborhood will likely be the site of a new detoxification center for the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

The nonprofit organization has been looking for a new location for the detox facility it operates in Casa Esperanza’s building at 816 Cacique St. CADA and Casa Esperanza have shared the space since the homeless shelter opened five years ago.

The new location — which contains a four-bedroom, four-bath single-family home on Placido Avenue — is “perfectly sited” compared to some of the other locations CADA has explored, according to Rob Fredericks, deputy executive director and chief administrative officer at the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.

Fredericks asked Noozhawk not to reveal the exact address until the city publishes the agenda for the Finance Committee meeting, which is scheduled for the last week of February. The Housing Authority plans to buy and manage the property, while CADA will operate the detox facility. Housing Authority officials will be going before the Finance Committee on March 1 to ask for the $865,000 needed to purchase the property.

Before that, however, the Housing Authority plans to do extensive outreach among neighbors of the residence. After dozens of Peabody School parents complained about not being informed about eight units of low-income housing planned for their San Roque neighborhood, the Housing Authority is stepping up its involvement, even though the noticing wasn’t required by law.

“We’ve learned our lesson,” Fredericks said of the Peabody situation, adding that the Housing Authority will be holding an outreach meeting for neighbors on Feb. 22.

Although the West Downtown project doesn’t need a conditional-use permit, a lower-threshold permit is required, and the Housing Authority will be notifying neighbors within a 300-foot radius of the property. Fredericks said notices will be mailed to property owners and residents within the zone and staff will canvass the area on foot to ensure neighbors are aware of the facility.

The prospective property belongs to a private landlord, the building’s only resident who is moving out of the country, Fredericks said.

At the current Cacique Street location, women have to be transported to the North County, but separate sleeping rooms and bathrooms for women will be available at the Placido Street site so men and women can be housed there. The new location can serve 12 people.

“I think its a really good location,” Penny Jenkins, CADA’s president and CEO, told Noozhawk.

The main concern neighbors might have is whether residents of the CADA facility will be wandering around the area, Jenkins said.

“They’re actually under supervision 24 hours a day,” she said, adding that residents are treated there until they can be admitted into a full-scale treatment facility.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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