On Wednesday Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $70 million in awards will be going toward six new Homekey projects across the state, including one in Santa Barbara County.
The Housing Authority of Santa Barbara County will get almost $19 million dollars to turn a Super 8 Motel in central Goleta into a shelter for those experiencing homelessness.
The motel has 61 units. When finished, it will provide shelter as well as on-site community services.
"These projects really have had a really good track record, now that we've had them up and running for a couple years now," Wendy Lewis, El Camino Homeless Organization CEO, told KSBY.
In 2019, the El Camino Homeless Organization, or ECHO, was able to secure funding for a Homekey project in San Luis Obispo County.
"ECHO was the first one to receive the call, and when we found out the scope, we definitely decided we needed to bring some partners in to look at possibly bringing this incredible resource to the community," said Wendy Lewis, El Camino Homeless Organization CEO.
ECHO partnered with People's Self Help Housing and the Housing Authority of SLO for the project. Together the organizations applied for and received Homekey funding to purchase of a Motel 6 in Paso Robles. The motel was then converted into the first homeless shelter in Paso Robles in 2020.
ECHO is hoping the recent funding will create the same positive impact in Santa Barbara County.
"It really will increase the ability to get people the services they need and get them back into housing, so it's a great resource for the community and Santa Barbara," Lewis said.
Homekey funding is designed to develop a range of properties including hotels, motels, and apartments into permanent or temporary housing for people experiencing homelessness.
"It really has had a positive impact on the lives of people we're serving," said Lewis.