For five years I was an outreach counselor for the homeless people in Santa Barbara. Prior to that I started a baked goods delivery service to people living on the streets. In my humble opinion mental illness and severe depression were the underlying issues of 100 percent of the homeless population. Alcohol and drug abuse seemed to exacerbate the circumstances of 98 percent of those I assisted.
Santa Barbara is truly one of the most generous cities in the country in terms of services to those in need, but how would you feel if housing for homeless people were constructed next to your residence or family home?
Perhaps zoning guidelines for building housing for people who are homeless needs to be established to address the needs and concerns of everyone, renters, homeowners, and homeless alike.