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An economic crisis is suddenly befalling many Santa Barbara residents due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
My son and his girlfriend moved to Santa Barbara five years ago from Georgia to attend S.B. City College, find employment, and start a life was permanent residents of California. With the recent global health crisis, the hotels where they are employed are starting to close rapidly. San Ysidro just closed for a month minimum. The Belmond and Ritz-Carlton Bacara I’m sure will follow suit. As of now there is no compensation to their knowledge for their dedicated and hard-working staff of any kind. No part-time pay, rent, or food assistance — zero.
This is going to be devastating to the young people of the town. I fear the California dream is coming to a crashing halt for them and so many others, most whom have no health care, live paycheck to paycheck while trying to save for a future and pay for their own tuition. Now they will be forced to leave.
Is there any sort of a fund or program to help people like my son, his girlfriend, and so many others weather the storm? They have reluctantly applied today for the new unemployment due to the virus. They talked to their landlord, who is unable to give them a break on rent, due to themselves being self-employed.
The area is going to lose a tremendous group of hard-working, loyal, and energetic people through no fault of their own. No one wants a handout; they just want to know that they haven’t been discarded. We know we will get to the other side of this crisis, but many people have nothing to fall back on to survive in situations like this.
Santa Barbara is a beautiful and special place. I hope when we all get to the other side of this crisis, that the town, and all the others like it, helped to take care of some of its most financially vulnerable when all seems so dark.
Please let people know if there is anything being created. My son has no idea I am contacting you and reaching out. He is stubborn, proud, and hard working. He wants to stick it out, but with these latest abrupt closings I don’t think it will be possible.
Editor’s Note: Private and public entities are stepping up. Read “Out of Work?” for a current rundown on what’s out there.