GOLETA, Calif. — This week Goleta’s city council approved the city’s first homeless plan. The plan is 86 pages and was approved during Tuesday’s city council meeting.
The goal is to unite all organizations in and around Goleta to help homelessness in the city and surrounding areas.
Jaime Valdez is Goleta’s interim neighborhood services and public safety director. He said of the plan, “It’s trying to get everyone to be speaking the same language with similar goals. It’s a multifaceted issue. It requires a ton of coordination and ultimately a ton of cooperation from everyone.”
Valdez said two of the top focuses in the plan are working to prevent people from becoming homeless and helping those with nearby family or friends. Valdez said the city will partner with organizations to use emergency rental assistance to try to save people from losing their housing. And it can be easier to reunite someone with their family or friends who already have a relationship than starting fresh with someone.
For the homeless plan, the city of Goleta surveyed homeless people. The city found 68% of homeless people would accept a private housing unit with support services. Valdez said it’s difficult for cities and public agencies to help those who don’t want the services to help them find housing.