HOME FOR GOODAbout Our Partners
ABOUT OUR PARTNERS
Kathy Hayes with Freedom Warming Centers delivered a presentation at the Funders Collaborative meeting to shed light on the increased demand of the warming centers over the past few months and the funding the Centers need to remain open.
Freedom Warming Centers provide overnight accommodations for homeless and chronically homeless individuals. They are a shorter-term shelter, and they "activate" when temperatures or weather create life-threatening conditions for individuals living on the streets between November 15 and March 31st each year.
Between November 15th, 2018 and March 10, 2019, the Freedom Warming Centers provided 5,200 overnight beds. That amounts to 159 activations and 891 unduplicated individuals served.
A survey was conducted in March 2019. It revealed that approximately 70% of people surveyed said they lived in Santa Barbara County before they became homeless. This is in line with the Point in Time Count results above.
Additionally, it revealed that 0% of people surveyed had dental care providers.
Freedom Warming Centers are requesting support. In order to continue providing shelter to those who need it most, they require more funding, more staffing, and more support.
Jeff Shaffer of Home for Good and Megan Rheinschild with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office presented on the Human Trafficking Task Force.
The Task Force began in 2013 in response to a high profile human trafficking case that was traced to Santa Barbara. In 2017, the task force identified 54 potential victims, arrested 13 pimps, and arrested 36 buyers.
Many of the individuals being exploited are from right here in Santa Barbara County, and unfortunately, so are many of the perpetrators. 83% (72 individuals) of trafficking victims identified by the task force have been US citizens. However, 100% of labor trafficking victims were identified as foreign nationals.
Homelessness is one of the primary risk factors for both children and adults who become exploited.
The $1.34 million grant that has funded the Task Force for two and a half years is due to expire in September 2019. The Task Force is looking into continued funding, but they are also looking for support from the community.
Behavioral Wellness has a parallel program that works with this population to provide the wrap around services they need.
Homelessness and human trafficking are often comorbid conditions, and neither have a place in our community. Let's work together to identify victims, provide wrap around services to keep those victims out of harm's way, and prosecute the criminals responsible.
If you would like to get involved with the Task Force, email Jeff Shaffer at Jeff@LiveUnitedSBC.org.
HOW DO WE STOP HOMELESSNESS?
Kimberlee Albers, the Homeless Assistance Program Manager for the County of Santa Barbara, would say, "With a home."
In fact, the picture to the right is her desktop background.
Below are some needs and possible solutions that were presented to the Funders Collaborative on March 20th, and there are many people throughout the county who are working to make these solutions a reality in 2019.
The following maps show how many single bedroom, studio units Home for Good Santa Barbara County believes are needed throughout the county to house individuals. The data does not include families. That will be available in the near future.
Home For Good Santa Barbara County has compiled an initial mapping of additional permanent housing units that will be needed by community and district. This helps forecast an initial look at the need for units based on where people are currently residing. We are working with the County on a more in-depth gaps analysis for both individuals and families.
A preliminary assessment of the housing needs of individuals was presented with the information available at that time from the Point-in-Time Count (PIT). A final assessment of the needs of individuals and families is being developed with information from the (PIT) and data from the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).