Monday, May 21 , 2018, 10:21 pm | Fair 59º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Two More Homeless Deaths Reported in Santa Barbara

The deaths raise this year's toll to 15

Two homeless men died this week in Santa Barbara, social worker Ken Williams told Noozhawk on Thursday.

One man, 57, lived in his van and suffered from medical problems, and the other man was much younger, Williams said.

Fifteen homeless people have died in the city this year, and a rash of deaths early in the year prompted a group of homeless advocates to appeal to the county and city of Santa Barbara to open warming centers during rainy, cold weather.

Last year, there were 28 homeless deaths in the city, and Santa Barbara launched its 12-point plan to address homelessness.

The plan includes an ordinance prohibiting abusive panhandling, an alternative giving campaign through countertop donation boxes, and the Santa Barbara Police Department’s work with other agencies to conduct restorative policing, outreach and treatment.

Local shelters have made efforts to increase the number of beds, but women are still often sent to North County while a larger, permanent location is pursued. Casa Esperanza’s winter program ends in April, but its permit was approved to increase the year-round bed count to 140.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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