Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 1:51 pm | Partly Cloudy 61º

 
 
 
 

Local News

County Supervisors Accept Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure for Lompoc Homeless Shelter

The move aims to keep the Bridgehouse facility open until a long-term solution can be found

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted this week to accept the deed-in-lieu of foreclosure for the Bridgehouse homeless shelter property in Lompoc and to sign a contract with the Good Samaritan Shelter to operate the facility for the rest of the year, following the dissolution of the Lompoc Housing and Community Development Corp. and last-minute closures of their shelters.

With state consent and officially receiving the deed from LHCDC, the shelter at 2025 Sweeney Road can reopen.

County CEO Chandra Waller recommended that the board deny the deed outright because of the financial obligations, adding that owning and operating a shelter is outside the county’s scope of service.

The supervisors view their role as transitional, with the ultimate goal of transferring the property and its role to a nonprofit such as Good Samaritan. They also asked for a forensic audit of the LHCDC to see where the county’s money was going and to have a better grasp on what went so wrong.

The crowd in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting unanimously asked the board to take the deed and find a way to open the shelter as soon as possible, while finding a long-term solution.

Bridgehouse’s closure has greatly affected other county shelters and homeless services, which are already struggling with increased demand for meals and beds.

There are 63 people in Lompoc who need the shelter, and without the 50-bed facility, they’ve been forced to find space in other towns, though those shelters are already operating at over-capacity. Many church warming shelters are open to help fill the need, but the season for that ends by April.

“We’re pushing the limits as to what is reasonable, what is comfortable and what is safe” to avoid turning people away, said Rolf Geyling, executive director of the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. He added that without Bridgehouse, the countywide repercussions would be devastating.

Marks House, the LHCDC’s other shelter, which is much smaller, was taken on by the City of Lompoc and Good Samaritan is running it. Seven of the LHCDC’s affordable housing properties are in bank receivership right now and only two — with private lenders — are not in foreclosure.

“For years your full board voted to give the LHCDC money,” SBCAN advocacy director Joyce Howerton said. “This is a mess — and not just a Lompoc mess, a Lompoc community mess. This is a county mess.”

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >