The City of Goleta is nearing the finish line of an important milestone: the City’s first comprehensive Homelessness Strategic Plan. Residents should be on the lookout for the public release of the Draft Homelessness Strategic Plan the week of November 9th. Once released it will mark the start of a 30-day public review period prior to final adoption by City Council. The Draft Plan will be available here next week.
On September 15, 2020, the Goleta City Council reviewed the Draft Homelessness Strategic Plan and provided direction to staff to incorporate some additional information prior to releasing the Draft for further public review.
The process to get to this point has been a collaborative and thorough effort, involving multiple agencies and extensive community engagement. Prior to bringing the full Homelessness Strategic Plan to Council in September, staff had brought a draft of the Plan before the newly-formed Homelessness Issues Standing Committee in July. The Committee reviewed the draft Plan, particularly providing input on the goals, objectives, and timeline for Goleta’s homelessness efforts. Once adopted, the document will help guide and coordinate efforts to prevent and address homelessness within the City of Goleta. During the review process, the draft Plan was reviewed by a variety of internal City staff and multiple outside agencies and partners.
The strategic planning process began in 2019 with stakeholder meetings and data gathering. In addition to public meetings, the City released a survey in December of 2019 to directly hear from those with input on homelessness in our region. Staff received input from residents, businesses, service providers, and those who are or who have experienced homelessness. In addition, staff have held stakeholder meetings, best practices discussions with communities nationwide, and held a Community Open House and information session. Community involvement has been essential since the beginning, most of which occurred prior to the onset of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
City Council and staff believe having a Homelessness 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. The Homelessness Strategic Plan will help guide and coordinate efforts to prevent and address homelessness within the City of Goleta and help the City prioritize its efforts related to homelessness on a regional level, essential when resources are limited.
The City team thanks the community for its input and interest in this important effort. To learn more and keep up to date on next steps, please visit https://tinyurl.com/GoletaHomelessnessPlan.
Pictured: Homeless person sleeping in front of a business in Old Town Goleta