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A ceremony on February 14, attended by members of the Johnson family officially transformed their former home into 16 studio apartments for homeless veterans. Located on East Carrillo Street not far from the Santa Barbara Bowl, Johnson Court was named for Vernon Johnson, a military vet and the family patriarch. Its community room was dedicated to Ken Williams, a tireless homeless advocate who died in 2018 and was himself a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.
This week, the vets, who average 60 years of age, will move into their new homes, operated by the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara. They pay a monthly rent set at 30 percent of their income, with the remaining rental costs coming from vouchers from the Project Based Housing Choice program of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development department, also known as Section 8. The project cost a total of $5.8 million to build.