Tag archives: homeless community

Montecito Asks City, County to Collaborate on Homelessness
By Eileen Read   |   May 24, 2022

It’s noon, about five hours later than Hands Across Montecito’s (HAM) usual monthly hike to locate and aid our village’s hidden population of unhoused individuals. We generally arrive just after dawn to find folks barely awake in their bivouacs around freeway entrances, in gullies near the railroad tracks and cemetery, along creek beds, and on […]

A Year Later: Hands Across Montecito The Model That Makes the Difference in Homelessness
By Sharon Byrne   |   March 8, 2022

In the spring of 2020, as the pandemic unfolded, Montecito neighbors started noticing a significant uptick in homeless individuals on Coast Village Road, traveling along the tracks, and encampments began mushrooming along the freeway. I contacted Luis Alvarado from Santa Barbara County’s Behavioral Wellness Homeless Outreach Team, and we started walking the tracks and outreaching. […]

Homelessness as Market Failure?
By Robert Bernstein   |   December 7, 2021

My last article talked about the climate crisis as an example of market failure. “Free” markets in fact require a vast government infrastructure: Laws, enforcement, courts, established financial systems. And a system to rebalance extreme wealth inequalities. Homelessness results from a lack of the latter mechanism. Wealth begets wealth. This can happen directly as wealth […]

How To Not Fix Homelessness
By Jeff Harding   |   August 5, 2021

To use a well-worn phrase, the homeless (“unhoused,” “unsheltered,” “houseless”) are a blight on our fair city. It’s not that we don’t have sympathy for these folks, but when they are met on the street most of us steer wide of them. I’m not insensitive to the homeless, but from what I’ve seen on State […]

Santa Barbara Finally Getting Some Traction with Its Homeless Population
By Zach Rosen and Nick Masuda   |   August 5, 2021

Amid a 120-day cleanup of homeless encampments, the question becomes: What happens on Day 121? You might not have noticed Joe — or maybe you did but kept your eyes on the road in front of you. Joe, a senior citizen, would panhandle at numerous off-ramps around Santa Barbara, spending 16 years sleeping on the […]

Finding a Compassionate PATH: Nonprofit has Increased Homelessness Outreach Through Partnerships
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 24, 2021

The COVID pandemic was surely a challenge for just about everyone in Santa Barbara and all around the world, but some communities were harder hit than others. Not so much here in the city or Montecito but consider what it must have been like to go through the 15 months of lockdowns, surges and protocols […]

Tackling Homelessness is Hard, Emotionally Exhausting Work
By Sharon Byrne   |   May 27, 2021

When we started the Hands Across Montecito project late last year, we counted 31 individuals living unsheltered along our railroad tracks and on beaches. We took an approach now touted by Bakersfield: work cases individually, on a by-name basis. Each person’s needs are different, so you have to find the solution that works for them. […]

The Making it Home Tour: Helping the Homeless Community Find Their PATH
By Zach Rosen   |   May 13, 2021

Community members that are experiencing homelessness could often use a path to help guide them from the street into a home. Since the early 1980s, People Assisting The Homeless (PATH) has been helping individuals, veterans, and families requiring assistance find their way to long-term housing solutions.  “We do that by really focusing on moving people […]

A Compassionate Partnership: Hands Across Montecito, Sheriff’s Office are Quite the Tandem
By Sharon Byrne   |   April 1, 2021

Last Friday, Jane Olson, one of the founding members of our Hands Across Montecito homeless outreach project, happened to be out walking near Hammond’s Meadow and encountered a very thin woman screaming at the top of her lungs and disrobing.  We had met this woman before, during the homeless point-in-time count at East Beach in […]

A Story of Helping Hands and Hope
By Sharon Byrne   |   March 18, 2021

In 2020, the Montecito community witnessed a growing population of unsheltered individuals in the area. Encampments mushroomed and became quite visible. Bicycle thefts were up as were incidents of trespassing on private property. I started visiting the encampments in Montecito with Luis Alvarado, a case manager from Homeless Outreach Services at Santa Barbara County’s Behavioral […]

Senator Limón and Assemblymember Steve Bennett to address Montecito Association Annual Meeting
By Sharon Byrne   |   February 11, 2021

The Montecito Association will host our Annual Members Meeting next Tuesday, February 9 at 4 pm via Zoom. We say goodbye to departing directors Peter van Duinwyk and Dorinne Lee Johnson, and welcome our newly elected board directors. We also appoint our officers at this meeting. Last year, we hosted California state Senator Hannah- Beth […]

Homeless Camp Cleared Prior to King Tides
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   January 21, 2021

An abandoned homeless camp surrounded by trash, bicycle parts, car batteries, flooded tents, and more became an eyesore on the “Graveyards” beach in Montecito, at the base of the cliff below the Santa Barbara Cemetery. In a recent newsletter, Heal the Ocean says they received a call about it from a concerned citizen last week, […]

On the Menu: Comfort Meals and New Beginnings
By Claudia Schou   |   December 31, 2020

Inside the kitchen at Santa Barbara Rescue Mission a team of masked and gloved volunteers prepare six dozen turkeys – washing each bird, stuffing them with onions, garlic, and herbs, basting them with butter and seasonings – all in preparation for the most important dinner of the year, the Christmas Feast. It’s a time-consuming process […]

When Your Neighbor is an Angel: Meet Adam McKaig of Adam’s Angels
By Sharon Byrne   |   December 24, 2020

Many of you are familiar with our Hands Across Montecito project – where Montecito neighbors are partnering as part of a Montecito Association initiative to help the unsheltered in our community find resources and housing. We have wonderful partnerships on this community-based and -supported effort, including our Sheriff’s and Montecito Fire departments and City Net […]

Dinner for 300
By Richard Mineards   |   December 10, 2020

Having volunteered at the Rescue Mission for the past 13 years, I had to miss acting as a waiter at the Rescue Mission’s annual Thanksgiving Feast this year because of the pandemic restrictions. However, as the 55-year-old shelter is designated as “an essential service,” 40 homeless at a time were allowed in to nosh on […]

Homelessness Update: Montecito Leading the Way
By Sharon Byrne   |   December 3, 2020

The Hands Across Montecito initiative got off to a great start this September. We did a census count with a terrific team of Montecito volunteers, our fire chiefs, sheriffs, and members of Behavioral Wellness, organized by City Net. We hiked all over Montecito, interviewing, and finding out more about who is living unsheltered here, and […]

Joining Hands Across Montecito
By Eileen Read   |   October 21, 2020

In the middle of another heat wave, it’s 95 degrees near the beach in Montecito and everybody has moved indoors. Everybody except our small group trailing behind Luis Alvarado, a determined homeless outreach specialist with the Santa Barbara County Behavioral Wellness Department who has come to Montecito to make contact with as many homeless people […]

Support Sharon Byrne and City Net for a Montecito Homeless Solution
By Jim Witherell   |   October 13, 2020

Solving tough community problems requires committed people coming together to build effective coalitions. Congratulations to Sharon Byrne, executive director of the Montecito Association, for her courage in launching “Hands Across Montecito,” a community-based homeless outreach project, scheduled to roll out this month in Montecito. Homelessness in Our Area The State of California leads the nation […]

Hands Across Montecito Performs Census Count of Homeless
By Sharon Byrne   |   October 1, 2020

Monday morning at 6 am, a crowd of 30 gathered at a church in Santa Barbara’s Eastside to perform a homeless census count. This is part of the Hands Across Montecito Project, started by the Montecito Association in response to concerns of large encampments growing along the tracks, encounters on Coast Village, thefts, and fires. […]

The Multi-Jurisdictional Problem in Montecito – Hammond’s Trail
By Sharon Byrne   |   September 24, 2020

At the Montecito Association, we often work with neighbors on specific issues. Who is responsible for the tree dropping bowling ball-sized pinecones in the street? Who handles the trash at Highway 101 and Hot Springs Road? What do I do if my neighbor’s hedge becomes infested with rats? These types of questions often require calls […]