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DignityMoves to expand housing sites for homeless individuals in Santa Barbara County

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Several nonprofits launched a new housing community in downtown Santa Barbara.

DignityMoves and the County of Santa Barbara have partnered to help reduce homelessness in the community.

So far organizers say the new housing site is running smoothly.

"DignityMoves was created to do our best to get in sheltered folks off the streets as quickly and as efficiently as possible," said regional advancement director Jack Lorenz of DignityMoves.

The project includes newly built units made of modular construction in downtown Santa Barbara.

"I’m happy to say a good number of those folks have transitioned to their own stable housing. Many of them have jobs. People are in school. Folks with severe mental health issues have been transitioned to facilities that have been able to take care of them," said Lorenz.

“They are turning out beautiful and people want to exit the streets or encampments in order to come into these special sights," said homelessness assistance program manager Kimberlee Albers of the County of Santa Barbara.

Right now DignityMoves is expanding to get everyone off the streets throughout the county.  

"We have four more projects one .. we’re about to break ground in Santa Maria near the Betteravia Government Center," said Albers.

The DignityMoves team hopes the county will serve as a model for other jurisdictions to reduce homelessness. 

“Our goal is to get everybody willing to except help who’s living on the streets … off the streets,” said Lorenz.

DignityMoves will break ground for its next housing site in Santa Maria on Tuesday.

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


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