Two months of negotiating and planning, and countless hours spent hovering over maps of the county, are about to give way to a Common Ground Registry Week here. When the 100K Homes campaign— combined with the Housing and Urban Development’s Point-In-Time count—kicks off Friday afternoon, February 25, it will be the start of something uniquely positive in the history of homelessness here.
If all goes as planned, the county’s homeless mortality rate could decrease, at least a little. That rate has been rising steadily since 2009, and all signs point to 2011 being as morbid as ever. For the individuals who are ultimately identified in surveys as being vulnerable (vulnerable to dying, that is), the week could mean the difference between relying on expensive hospital stays and emergency rooms visits to stay alive, and keeping healthy with just periodic visits to a public health clinic, say doctors who study the effects of street homelessness.
No two Registry Weeks unfurl in the same way. Santa Barbara’s is going to be unique, too. This much is known about how things will unfold. Basically, there will be two training days and three separate trainings. The first training will be for team leaders, on February 25, in Los Olivos. The second two will be for the 440 or so volunteers. One training will be for North County volunteers and the other for the South County volunteers. Both will take place on Sunday, February 27. To read more, see homelessinsb.org.