Santa Barbara, CA. Community Forum “Beyond Socks & Blankets.” 6:30pm, Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara (1535 Santa Barbara St), Parish Hall (Free).

Moderated by Former Assemblymember Hannah-Beth Jackson. The panel will feature a diverse panel discussing causes and solutions to homelessness.

Panelists include: Council member Dale Francisco (Santa Barbara City Council), Dr. David Lennon (Santa Barbara County Public Health), Deedrea Edgar (Deputy Public Defender, Santa Barbara County), David Hopkins (Formerly Homeless), Jennifer Ferraez (Licensed Social Worker, Doctors Without Walls), Suzanne Riordan (Co-founder SB Homeless Coalition).

Survival Santa Barbara is a series of events from February 25 through March 7 focused on keeping Warming Centers open every night they are needed, both this winter and next.

In the first two months of 2011, 8 people have died homeless on the streets and track of Santa Barbara. This is one per week!

In 2010, thirty-one homeless people died in Santa Barbara County. Robert, a homeless man, died of hypothermia four days before warming shelters were able to be open. The Freedom Warming Centers house the homeless on nights when it is cold and raining. There are a total of five warming centers countywide, with three Santa Barbara centers open at any one time, housing up to 100 people per night.

While the county and the city have provided substantial funding, much more is necessary to keep the centers open every night they are needed, both this winter and next.

It costs approximately $2,000 to open the countywide centers for one night. The goal is to raise at least $25,000.

Survival Santa Barbara is a coalition of independent concerned citizens working in close collaboration with numerous city, county, non-profit and inter-faith religious organizations.

For information about the Forum: Call Suzanne Riordan at (805) 637-1339. For information about the Benefit Concert of the Survival Santa Barbara fundraising effort, or to schedule an interview please call Glenn Bacheller at 722-0861 or email:


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