Homelessness can happen to anyone at anytime.
Fortunately in Santa Barbara, there are many agencies, organizations and people who want to help people trade living on the streets for under a roof.
The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara and PathPoint created a permanent and affordable living facility called El Carrillo in 2006. The 61-unit development is located on 315 West Carrillo Street.
PathPoint is a nonprofit which provides independent living and employment support services to individuals with disabilities and disadvantages. It provides help to El Carrillo residents on-site.
El Carrillo is home to formally homeless people. It gives residents a chance to have their own space to live. Tenants have to sign a lease and abide by some guidelines.
NewsChannel 3’s Vicky Nguyen talked to Lamont Payne about how he came to live at El Carrillo. Payne was born and raised in Los Angeles. He served in the U.S. Military and was able to buy a nice home. He had a stable job and was looking to start a family. His fiance got sick and he was forced to quit his job to become her primary caretaker.
“She was a very special woman in my life. She was charming and she was funny,” said Lamont Payne, a resident at El Carrillo.
His fiance passed away in 2011.
“It’s a horrible feeling. It does something to your mind, I was grabbing her hand, and telling her to wake up. I knew she was dead, but it was hard to accept,” said Payne.
After her death and other circumstances, Payne entered the life of homelessness. He was able to turn his life around by moving into El Carrillo.
“It’s definitely a blessing from the first time. I got here to the first day and everyday, I get up and I thank God for this roof over my head,” said Payne.
El Carrillo celebrated its 10 year anniversary on Thursday.