Finding homes for homeless individuals entered the realm of possibility in Santa Barbara County when an influx of dollars coming from state and federal sources helped to both create housing and provide the services that help people stay in them. To that end, the Board of Supervisors approved a total of $3.3 million to Good Samaritan Shelter on Tuesday to continue services in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria.
Serviced by Good Samaritan, DignityMoves’ tiny homes on Santa Barbara Street have moved 47 individuals indoors and off the streets over the past nine months, in a remarkable feat that placed vulnerable or elderly residents in safe and warm conditions. The supes authorized just more than $2 million to continue operating the 33 temporary homes for another two years, or through March 2025, with the goal of housing a total of 74 individuals during that time.
Another $1.3 million was approved to fund services for residents who receive Emergency Housing Vouchers in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara, including families with children. The program — operated by the housing authorities for the city and county of Santa Barbara — was so successful that the federal Housing and Urban Development agency supplemented the first 215 vouchers with an award of 57 more, said Kimberlee Albers, a program manager for the county. “This program has housed 372 persons to date!” she exclaimed.
Good Samaritan will provide intensive support services, such as substance abuse prevention and case management, that ensure recipients retain their homes.
The $2 million comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, and the $1.3 million is courtesy of California’s third round of Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention funding.