The growing crisis of homelessness is putting more and more strain on our public and traditional institutions including the general government, the nonprofit community, the faith community, the business sector, and educational institutions. It is estimated that more than 4,000 people are homeless in Santa Barbara County, and community costs for managing homelessness could cost the region as much as $35 to $40 million annually.
The Santa Barbara Foundation and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History hosted a town hall meeting Thursday night where local leaders looked at ways to better tackle this complex issue. The Town Hall panel included Rob Pearson, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Housing Authority; Cam Sanchez, Chief of Police for the Santa Barbara Police Department; Kathleen Baushke, Executive Director of the Transition House; Reverend Mark Asman of Trinity Episcopal Church; and Trey Lindle, Senior Manager of Paseo Nuevo. The conversation was moderated by Stan Roden, Mediation Arbitration Specialist; Nick Welsh, Executive Editor of the Santa Barbara Independent; and Tom Bolton, Executive Editor of Noozhawk.
The Freedom Warming Centers will be opening on Friday for the first time this winter season.
>The First United Methodist Church in Santa Barbara- Opens Friday.
>First Presbyterian Church in Santa Barbara on Saturday.
>The Good Samaritan Shelter in Santa Maria.
>The Bridge House Shelter in Lompoc, Friday and Saturday.
United Way of Greater Los Angeles is holding it’s 6th annual Homewalk, a 5k walk/run to help end homelessness, this Saturday November 17th in Downtown, Los Angeles.
KEY News Reporter Shirin Rajaee reports.