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Casa Esperanza May Implement New Sober Rules


Thursday, March 28, 2013
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The Casa Esperanza homeless shelter appears poised to adopt new rules requiring that its guests be sober while staying at the Cacique Street facility on the city’s Eastside. Traditionally, the facility has sought to accept the indigent as they were, but the new sober rules reflect a shift in philosophy as well as harsh financial realities. Day services will still be available to all parties, but access to parts of the shelter facilities will limited for those rejecting the new sober rules. The goal is to increase the number of individuals transitioning from the streets into housing, and sobriety is seen as key to this shift. The shelter relies on private donations for much of its funding, and private donors have grown restive with the status quo. If approved by the Casa board, the new policies will be gradually implemented over the next year. Casa director Mike Foley estimated as many as 30 percent of his clients could find themselves bounced in the short term because of the new rules, but he suggested the shelter would direct more into sobriety programs in the long term.

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The come as you are accommodation policy might have been a pragmatic one. There were savings in public monies for ambulance and ER services (such services proving repetitive and thus costly) since the inebriate was in shelter where no physical harm could develop. Businesses were spared the use of public restroom facilities by nonpaying customers. Law enforcement could turn its energies to critical trouble spots. And personal hygiene regimens could be maintained where otherwise there might be challenges to the person and to the community. But the question now is, what options are available for those refusing long-term care towards rehabilitation? And addressing the question of rehabilitation, do statistics show any pluck for the buck spent towards such an end?

salsipuedes (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 8:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

HUH? So because they cannot have non sober living, the city is a giant toilet?
Whats next taking over a store and throwing food because they can't buy it or beg it?? oh wait that was Gelsons last week?

Arrest the problems!!

dadof3 (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 1:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So, how does refusing accomodation to approximately 30% of Casa Esperanza's clients, keeping them out on the street fit with the City of Santa Barbara's and the County's funding? Or does the CE operate solely by private donations?

How does this proposed policy serve the city as a whole, the safety of the homeless as well as the homed in the area?

at_large (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 1:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

In the this week's block grant funding approved by the SB City Council, Casa Esperanza received $101,500 in grants, approximately 14% of the total. Many others also received but among those not receiving anything were the United Boys & Girls Club and City@Peace.

at_large (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 8:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

enabling addiction is not helpful to anyone.

lovechop (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2013 at 8:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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