The County of Santa Barbara is increasing efforts to help homeless residents. In the city of Goleta, a $20 million project to turn a Super 8 motel into permanent supportive housing could be on the way.
It will be a three-way partnership between the City of Goleta, Santa Barbara County, and the Housing Authority.
Earlier this month, the county and Goleta city council approved the plan with the city council contributing $600,000 and the county $3 million, but a majority of the money will be coming from a state grant.
The Super 8 motel would provide 60 housing units where homeless individuals will pay leases.
“A stronger interviewing, a stronger vetting process because, again, this is intended to be permanent housing, not a night-to-night basis, not having a particular time limit," said John Polanskey, Director of Housing Development for the County of Santa Barbara.
Permanent housing differs from a homeless shelter.
“The difference is rather than just having a key and having the apartment, there are also support services," Polanskey said.
“Drug and alcohol rehab, workforce training, and mental wellness services," said Gregg Hart, Santa Barbara County District 2 Supervisor. "All the things people need to thrive and get their lives back on track and become contributing members of the community.”
This is the first development designed for permanent supportive housing in Goleta, but conversations about adding supportive housing in other cities like Santa Maria and Lompoc are still in the process.
“We are all trying to do the same thing which is [to] identify sites throughout the whole county that can be used to bring people indoors and give them the support services they need to get on track," Hart said.
The application has been submitted but the grant has not been awarded yet. City officials say the decision on funding allocations will be sometime in the spring.
The housing authority and city of Goleta are organizing a community meeting for February 10 to address any questions or concerns from the community.