Fifty-some-odd people abandoned the dry cover of home and hearth Tuesday night, December 21st, to learn how they might help move hundreds of Santa Barbara County’s chronically homeless into homes of their own. And when the meeting was over, many of the 50 had committed to braving cold temperatures yet again to literally locate, count and interview every homeless person in the county eight weeks from now at an ungodly pre-dawn hour on three consecutive days.
That ambitious operation, dubbed Registry Week, would be the first step in a five-step process that concludes with people who’ve been sleeping on pavement, and beneath bushes for years, even decades, having actual, literal roofs over their heads and support to help them stay there.
The five -step process has unfolded countless times in cities across America as Common Ground’s 100k Homes Campaign has picked up momentum. But it began in 2003 with one maverick push to house the homeless in Times Square. That success, which has since been replicated in places like Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, plus the credibility of the organization that created it—Common Ground—persuaded the powers that be in this city and county, including the Santa Barbara City Housing Authority (HACSB) and the County Housing and Community Development Department (HCD), to help it come here too. To read more, see homelessinsb.org.