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(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – Santa Barbara County is participating in a 100-day challenge
set by Governor Newsom to reduce homelessness throughout California by resolving
encampments along county freeways and railroad corridors. These local housing efforts are
made possible by a $2.5 million State of California Encampment Resolution Funding
(CERF) grant awarded to the County to move people indoors, reducing danger from fires
and vehicle/train right-of-way pedestrian strikes. The Challenge officially launched on July 6,
2022, and will conclude on October 14, 2022.
The goal is to move at least 20 unhoused people into shelter and 20 unhoused persons
into permanent housing by the end of the 100 days. Santa Barbara County and its
cities, along with Caltrans and Union Pacific Railroad, are working with community
organizations and partners who have experience in resolving homelessness. To meet
the 100-day timeline, the countywide team will map all the camps in the transportation
corridors, create a by-name list of inhabitants and enroll person(s) in services using
County elected officials are on board with the 100-Day challenge. “While more people
are slipping into homelessness than ever before, we are also making the strongest
effort in our history to bring people in from the streets and encampments. I believe that
the 100-Day Challenge, in conjunction with our other work, can help us bring services to
and house more individuals than last year,” said First District Supervisor Das Williams.
Fourth District Supervisor Bob Nelson added, “Turning a blind eye to encampments
along transit corridors is neither safe nor humane. It puts the general public at risk and
allows some of our most vulnerable community members to further risk victimization.
Encampment resolution through shelters, housing, and intensive case management is the only solution for our state and community to turn the tide on homelessness.”
Homeless advocates with lived experience agree the 100-Day Challenge could
accelerate encampment cleanups. “I’ve been saying all along we need to have places
for people to go. The ‘move-them-along’ approach is inhumane. The reason they’re
camping next to the freeway is because there is no place else to go. Let’s change that,”
said David Hopkins, formerly homeless, now working with the Committee For Social
Justice in homeless outreach.
Community involvement is vital to the success of the encampment cleanup efforts within
100 days. Interested in supporting our goal? Here’s what’s needed now:
- Housing rental units (rental subsidy and landlord incentives are available).
- Donations of gently used furniture basics suitable for studio and 1 bedroom
apartments. Beds/mattresses are not accepted
- New household items such as bedding, towels, pots, dishes. In addition,
consumables such as toiletries, food gift cards. “Welcome home” baskets with
these items are gratefully received by formerly homeless community residents,
and can be provided at relatively low cost.
To coordinate a donation drop off please contact Alice Villarreal Redit firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on how to encampment response and services for persons
experiencing homelessness, please contact Lucille Boss LBoss@countyofsb.org or
Emily Allen Eallen@countyofsb.org.