County Budget Hearings

Nick St. Oegger

County Budget Hearings

Advocates to Battle Budget Cuts

A Hosts of Program Cuts Will Harm Homeless and Mentally Ill Residents

Santa Barbara homeless advocates are preparing to push back hard against a collection of proposed program cuts when the Board of Supervisors continues its hearings tomorrow, June 15th. Though hearings into the county’s fiscal year 2011-2012 budget began on Monday, June 13th, Wednesday’s discussion will cover a greater array of programs that help and serve the area’s homeless, almost-homeless, and mentally ill.

The list of cuts that will be talked about includes the following: 1) The payee program Pro Pay that serves 300 mentally ill residents incapable of handling their finances. 2) Warming Centers, which received $51,000 from the county last year for bad weather shelters for the unsheltered homeless people. 3) The Veteran’s Services program, which helps the county’s 1,300 or so vets access VA benefits. 4) Cuts to the Human Services Commission, which itself funds a bevy of nonprofits that directly serve the local needy and homeless residents.

Potential impacts of these cuts include the deterioration of living situations of hundreds of people teetering at the edge of society, including the 300 souls served by Pro Pay. According to the director of PathPoint, many of these people will not be able to pay their rent and other essential bills with their small government checks because they will have already spent it, or most of it, by the time it’s due. To read more, see

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