GOLETA, Calif. – Goleta has a multi-layered process in place to deal with its homelessness concerns.
The unhoused community is a priority concern for city leaders.
The Goleta Homelessness Regional Action Plan (RAP) held a virtual meeting Monday afternoon that was open to the public and featured staff members from the city and various organizations including City Net and Good Samaritan .
- Concerns about specific homeless people.
- Concerns about "hot spots" where there are significant homeless impacts.
- Questions about City policy and plans for homeless people.
- Questions about how to get involved.
- Ideas for solving the problem.
- Answering the question "What can I do?"
The City of Goleta Homelessness Services Coordinator Chuck Flacks talked about the benefits of this outreach to update the community and have an easy access site for the public to ask questions without having to attend a meeting in person.
A new transitional housing site that was formerly a Super 8 Motel is under reconstruction at the corner of Hollister Ave. and Fairview. The site was originally planned to be ready in October. It is now on a timeline for the end of January.
That's because of some soil issues that will be cleaned up with a long trenching process in the parking lot.
South County Housing Authority Manager Evan Baumann said, "we're going to have to trench about ten feet on the north side of the parking lot and 100 feet west through the parking lot. With all that being done we are going to have to export the soil."
Once finished it will have 59 rooms. 30 prequalifying applications have already been processed.
Goleta is also looking for a wet and cold weather shelter site, but so far, the outreach to churches has not produced a site. Those efforts continue. The city says Good Samaritan has some funding for the occasional shelters. They open based on certain forecasted weather conditions.
An update was also given on where the current homeless gatherings are documented and street teams are making contacts to see what the needs are for those who are living unhoused.
In November a new Neighborhood Navigation Center will open once a week to help the homeless with a variety of services, provide food and build a trusting relationship that could lead to housing.
As part of the homeless response efforts, the work by Cal Trans and Union Pacific Railroad was also brought up. Homeless Services Coordinator Chuck Flacks said, "they cleared a lot of brush, great in terms of fire danger, but they cleared a lot of camps without a lot of warning or support for people."
Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte was on the Zoom meeting and said "this is like the perfect opportunity to speak with all of us and take advantage of that in a non threatening environment."
(More details, photos and video will be added here later today)