The empty supermarket at Chapala and Victoria will be an ideal shelter for the Santa Barbara downtown homeless. With donations from businesses, wealthy families, churches, foundations, possibly a voluntary sales tax, a non-profit organization could buy the property.
Many necessary articles such as mattresses, blankets, pillows, sheets, furniture, plants, benches, books, brooms, mops, arts and crafts materials, TVs, etc. can be obtained through donations.
There would be supervision at all times. It would necessitate a staff of four to cover the 168 hours of each week. That means a staff cost of about $150,000 per annum. Maintenance and cleaning materials should not be more than $50,000 per annum. The residents would be requested to help keep the shelter clean.
The parking lot would be converted into a garden with wide low benches for those not comfortable sleeping inside as yet. An awning would cover the outdoor sleeping area. The awning would have flaps that could come down if needed.
Indoors there would be an extensive sleeping area with as many mattresses as reasonably comfortable and humane. There would be a men’s and a women’s bathroom as well as kitchen with pots and pans, plates and silverware. A TV room with a library area and an arts and crafts section would make for a reasonable living experience.
The location is ideal for the many homeless people who have been living on the street in downtown Santa Barbara. It will be an excellent use for a, seemingly, abandoned building and lot.
The amount of money to purchase the property, make necessary renovations, and annual costs would be relatively low to stop human suffering and give the many people who would like to help the opportunity to donate money, articles, etc. in order to stop this barbaric homeless situation. What great nation or city abandons elderly people to sleep in the street and eat out of the garbage? At least in Santa Barbara we can demonstrate how humanity can be sincerely human.