The City of Goleta would like to thank the community for the great turnout at our Community Open House on Homelessness as well as the service providers for taking the time to speak with residents. The December 11 event was a unique opportunity for the community to interact on a one-on-one basis with City staff and homelessness service providers, as well as provide ideas and input on homelessness in our community. Organizations including the County of Santa Barbara, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, Isla Vista Youth Projects, New Beginning’s Safe Parking Program, Showers of Blessing, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Barbara County Behavioral Wellness, Equalitech and others were on hand to talk personally to attendees.
Approximately 150 people attended the Open House. In addition to members of the general public, City staff and service providers were able to speak with a number of current or former homeless individuals. Local dignitaries or their representatives in attendance included: City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte, Mayor Pro Tempore Kyle Richards, Councilmember James Kyriaco, 2nd District County Board of Supervisor Gregg Hart, and representatives for 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann and State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson.
Community input is an essential part of the City of Goleta’s effort to develop its first-ever comprehensive Homelessness Strategic Plan. The City has released a survey, which was also available at the Open House, in which we hope to hear from residents, businesses, service providers, and those who are or who have experienced homelessness. To date, the City has received over 300 completed surveys. The survey can be found online in both English and Spanish at the following links:
The Community Open House and survey are elements of a larger homelessness strategic planning effort, which has included stakeholder meetings, best practice discussions with communities nationwide, and years of partnership supporting regional homelessness efforts. While the City of Goleta has a history of supporting organizations and regional efforts serving those at risk of homelessness and those experiencing homelessness, the City currently does not have a comprehensive plan analyzing the state of homelessness in our area and the most effective steps forward. City Council and staff believe having a strategic plan will provide important direction and clarity around needs, service gaps, and priorities in order to make effective and strategic funding decisions that serve both the existing homeless population, as well as those at risk of becoming homeless. Once adopted, the Homelessness Strategic Plan will help guide and coordinate efforts to prevent and address homelessness within the City of Goleta.
We appreciate the community’s involvement in this process thus far and look forward to continued engagement during this important effort. For more information, please contact Dominique Samario, Management Analyst for the City of Goleta, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-690-5126. Learn more about the City’s Homelessness Strategic Plan at https://tinyurl.com/GoletaHomelessnessPlan.
Photo: Woman taking survey at Community Open House – survey now available online