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Turkey Drive: Good Samaritan Shelter helping bridge the gap for homeless in Lompoc

Good Samaritan Bridge House
Good Samaritan's Bridge House Emergency Shelter in Lompoc is helping people in need by providing a place to stay, along with many valuable resources. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

LOMPOC, Calif. - Good Samaritan Shelter is helping dozens of people each day tackle homelessness in Lompoc.

Along with the County of Santa Barbara, Good Samaritan operates the Bridge House Emergency Shelter.

Located just outside Lompoc's northeastern city limits on Sweeney Road, the facility houses between 80-to-100 people each night.

"We all are homeless here and that's why we're here. Everybody has their own story," said Good Samaritan Client Tricha Oats. "It's not permanent. It's only temporary, but for for now, I'm here and I have roof over my head."

Oats is one of many clients taking advantage of the shelter's many valuable resources.

"It's more than a shelter," said Brian Halterman, Good Samaritan Lompoc Director of Homeless and Housing. "It's showers, it's laundry, it's meals, but we also five case managers who will work with them on an ongoing basis to help tie them into housing, mental health services, drug and alcohol treatment."

Clients can stay up to 90 days, with a possible extensions sometimes permitted.

"It's not permanent," said Oats. "It's only temporary, but for for now, I'm here and I have roof over my head. I'm not starving."

Jatina Wells has been at the shelter since May.

"This was our only option, so here we are," said Wells. "I'm very grateful because I don't know where we would be."

Wells is currently living in the family shelter with her teenage daughter.

"It's our own space," said Wells. "We are in our own room. We're very close anyway, so it's not an uncomfortable situation. It's better than not knowing where would be or uncertain where we would be. We're still together and that's all that matters."

Clients at Bridge House come from all walks of life.

Even though each person or family is different, clients say that every one typically gets along with each other.

"You have your family that you have to love from a distance," said Wells. "You have your family that you love and embrace and then you have your family that you laugh and cry with, so it's perfect. We all get along. We all make it work."

Clients at the shelter will directly benefit from this weekend's KCOY Turkey Drive.

Both Wells and Oats are just two that will spend Thanksgiving there.

Clients will receive a complete Thanksgiving meal, complete with turkey dinner and all the trimmings.

Food served will come directly from community donations received during the Turkey Drive.

"The people who access our services benefit greatly from the Turkey Drive and one of the greatest things is it allows them to feel human again, to feel real because they get to celebrate Thanksgiving as so many of us get to with our families," said Halterman.

For those who will receive the meal, they feel grateful for the community support.

"I'm looking forward to it and I think it will be awesome and I think we will all have a ball," said Wells. "All the people that donate, thank you from me. We appreciate all of it and I know the people that go to bed with full stomachs that would be on the streets, thank you."

"It means a lot. It's like, wow, people actually do care about us," Oats said. "It's just a blessing to be part of and to give back to the community."

The KCOY Turkey Drive is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 21 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There will have several donation drop-off locations, including:

  • KCOY studios in Santa Maria
  • Grocery Outlet Bargain Market in Lompoc
  • California Fresh Market in Pismo Beach
  • Food Bank Coalition of SLO County in San Luis Obispo
  • Vons in San Luis Obispo
  • Vons in Atascadero

All donations collected in Northern Santa Barbara County benefit Good Samaritan Shelter, while those collected in San Luis Obispo County go towards the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County.

For more information, visit the KCOY Turkey Drive website.

California / Community / Events / News / Santa Maria - North County / Top Stories / What's Right

Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.