The 100k Homes campaign is coming to Santa Barbara and it’s coming with the backing of Bringing Our Community Home (BOCH) a.k.a. the county’s Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness, a nonprofit whose board is packed with political heavyweights from around the County.
In a huge win for area homeless people, BOCH’s board voted unanimously Monday to endorse South County advocates’ efforts to bring the national campaign here. The endorsement is key because the novel drive to put the homeless in supportive housing, which means providing case management and in some cases addiction treatment, will require financial battles to be fought but in the long run would save jurisdictions notable amounts of cash.
The 90-minute BOCH meeting, held in Solvang, was almost entirely taken up with a presentation from 100k Homes campaign Director Becky Kanis, who served in the military for nine years before turning her focus to the homeless. In her work with the organization Common Ground, Kanis figured out how to get two-thirds of Times Square’s homeless housed in 2005. Her take-no-prisoners approach was so effective, New York City officials asked her and her Common Ground team to do what they could in other NYC neighborhoods. Slowly but surely, the approach, called “shelter to home” was adopted in cities like Baltimore, Washington DC, and Boston. But it wasn’t until this past July that Kanis came up with the wild idea of housing 100k of the nation’s homeless by 2013. Sixty-four American cities and towns have joined the effort, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Venice, Santa Monica and Oakland. Six-thousand, seven-hundred and thirty-five homeless people have been housed so far. To read more, see homelessinsb.org.