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Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 8:56 pm | Fair 50º


Another Homeless Death Brings City’s Count to 20 This Year

The number already has surpassed last year's total in Santa Barbara, with three deaths occurring within the past week

Monday morning marked the 20th death of a homeless person in Santa Barbara this year. Three of those deaths occurred within the past week, according to social worker Ken Williams.

Williams reported Monday that a 58-year-old man, who had spent time in local shelters, succumbed to sickness while in the hospital. A woman in her 50s staying in a shelter died over the weekend.

“She became the 19th homeless person to die this year, surpassing the total for all of last year,” he said.

A third death was reported last week, when police were called Wednesday about a man on a blanket outside a store at 216 State St.

Police officers confirmed that the 51-year-old male was dead, and no foul play was suspected, Santa Barbara Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte said.

“I just think the people have been homeless too long,” Williams said of this year’s rash of deaths.

Williams was featured in a recent Los Angeles Times article in which it was reported that Santa Monica, a city of similar size to Santa Barbara, saw an average of only 14 homeless deaths per year over a seven-year period.

“I’ve never seen only 14 deaths here,” Williams said.

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

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