Thursday, May 24 , 2018, 12:25 am | Overcast 59º

 
 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: Setting the Record Straight on Homeless

In a recent Santa Barbara News-Press editorial, the writer wondered whether Santa Barbara is becoming an RV mecca. Many of the statements are misinformed regarding the 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness and RV parkers.

It is true that we have a homeless problem. In fact, every major city in America faces this issue. Homeless providers in our community have developed a well-coordinated effort to deal with the problem, however, and our city has tackled the issue with a current task force with a four-prong approach. Nationwide, recent studies show that chronic homelessness has been reduced through such efforts.

The countywide 10-year plan is attacking chronic homelessness. Yes, the 10-year plan is geared toward the 10 percent to 15 percent of those who are homeless because they are the chronic ones. A 2006 county report showed that our community spends $36 million a year dealing with the homeless problem. An entire 50 percent is spent on that 10 percent to 15 percent of the population.

Does it make sense to attack the worst part of the problem first? Does this meet the truth-in-advertising request that the News-Press makes? Is the 10-year plan working? We think the plan is working. In the past year, Transition House, Casa Esperanza, Good Samaritan and Bridge House report that 107 families and 48 individuals have been placed in housing. In addition, 71 chronically homeless have been placed in transitional housing, saving the county an estimated $1.1 million.

We are attacking the RV problem as well. New Beginnings Counseling Center provides the only safe parking program in California, and it has been recognized by national media including ABC, CBS, CNN and People Magazine.

People do live in RVs and we are working to get them out of them. About 75 of the estimated 350 people living in vehicles find safe places to park each night. Within the last year, 42 people have been placed in housing and moved out of their vehicles. The city of Santa Barbara outlawed RV parking along the coastal zone and near schools, day-care centers and parks. Santa Barbara is no mecca for RV or homeless individuals.

Roger Heroux, executive director
Santa Barbara Countywide 10 Year Plan To End Chronic Homelessness

Gary Linker, executive director
New Beginnings Counseling Center

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.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • 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 >

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 >