Tag archives: homelessness

The Hands Helping Homelessness
By Sharon Byrne   |   November 22, 2022

You’ve read in these pages about Hands Across Montecito, a very successful homeless outreach and placement team of the Montecito Association, made up of Montecitans, Sheriffs, Montecito Fire, Behavioral Wellness, and City Net. Our first client, Andrew Verlikanje, really hates litter, so he picks it up. Andrew impressed Heal the Ocean when he wanted to […]

Toasting PATH at Sunstone
By Richard Mineards   |   June 14, 2022

To the charming Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez for A Toast To Home, a fundraiser for PATH – People Assisting the Homeless – which attracted 150 guests and was expected to raise around $60,000 for the 38-year-old charity that has homeless services in more than 150 cities with more than 60 locations. In 2021-22 PATH […]

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 […]

Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley (FBSMV)
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 14, 2022

Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley (FBSMV) does some very important and impactful work. Since its founding in 2003 as a response to the methamphetamine epidemic in the Valley, the nonprofit has taken a proactive approach to the issues, creating programs that focus on protecting kids not only from drugs and other substance abuse but also […]

Talking with GOP Chair Bobbi McGinnis
By Joanne Calitri   |   April 12, 2022

Bobbi McGinnis is the current Chair of the Santa Barbara County GOP committee, a position she has had since 2019, after being its secretary and committee member since 2013.  She is a first-generation U.S. born citizen. Her parents moved to the U.S. from England in 1949, choosing Santa Barbara as their new home, with her […]

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 […]

A Success Story: First Person Helped by Hands Across Montecito Leads Cleanup
By Heal the Ocean   |   September 14, 2021

The “Holy Grail” of abandoned homeless sites was tackled on August 30 in a cleanup being done by a team of homeless workers who have been enlisted by Earthcomb, the brainchild, and business of Andrew Velikanje. The site, located at the end of South Kellogg Avenue in Goleta, is the second in Heal the Ocean’s […]

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 […]

A Vintage Jim Buckley Non-Apology Apology
By Montecito Journal   |   June 10, 2021

In last week’s issue, Gwyn Lurie’s “Editor’s Letter” decries what she calls “incendiary language” in my recent column, calling it a “mistake” to have even printed it in the first place. I re-read it and though found it somewhat provocative, I believe that at no time does it reach the incendiary stage (450 degrees Fahrenheit, […]

Fundraising Appeal for Families at SBHS through the Foundation for Santa Barbara High School
By Montecito Journal   |   June 7, 2021

The following video was produced to raise funds for members of the Santa Barbara High School community who are food or housing insecure and could use a little help from their friends.

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 […]

Special-Interest Groups Negatively Impacting Single-Family Neighborhoods and Affordable Housing
By Sharon Byrne   |   April 29, 2021

We attended the Senate Housing Committee last week to provide input on two key bills: Senate Bills 9 and 765.  Our unexpected gain: insight into who’s calling the shots at the state. Hint: it’s not you.  Senator Toni Atkins (San Diego) introduced the revised SB-9. It will allow four units on a single-family lot, newly […]

Murillo Talks Second Term Goals
By Nick Schou   |   April 8, 2021

Readers of this column may have noticed that the Montecito Journal has in the past few months published a series of stories highlighting three candidates running for the office of Mayor of Santa Barbara: James Joyce, Deborah Schwartz, and last week, Randy Rowse. Noticeably absent on that list is the mayor herself, Cathy Murillo, who […]

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 […]

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, […]