Many wonderful people with big hearts are trying to help our homeless people, but homeless people need more help than ever. The number of people living on our streets has escalated since COVID-19 and the lockdown of jobs and opportunities.
It is a disgrace that a country with so much wealth is letting down the people whose jobs and existence has been taken away from them due to a virus and government rules.
People are being thrown out of their shelters and forced to live on the streets with whatever there is left of their belongings. Among them are women with children.
Having a roof over one’s head, a job, food is just as important as taking care of the COVID-19. But it doesn’t seem that our governor and government have figured out how to balance this.
Where is the generosity of the property owners and mortgage banks? In a catastrophe as we are experiencing right now?
To be unemployed is not only a stressful situation that can enter in despair and suicide — but in a long run it diminish self-esteem and self-respect. And by locking down small businesses the opportunity for survival is taken away from the people.
To receive a check from the government is humiliating for those who like to work. The pride of feeling contributing to a society is taken away.
Is there somebody out there who could donate a piece of land somewhere north of Santa Barbara where yurts or tents could be set up? Perhaps a community kitchen and bathrooms for homeless who lost their jobs?
Or could someone start a small community on a piece of land, where somebody can teach the homeless how to grow food? It’s looking at creative ways to help the homeless get back their self-esteem and be a part of a new community. It would be a community of equality, care and kindness for each other — all while giving them a hope for a better situation.
Would it be possible to use the architects and designers who have been given the opportunity to redesign State Street? To put the same effort into a project for the homeless people? In addition, our town has many under-utilized civic and church properties that could readily be deployed to this critical need.
It takes a group of volunteers and a generous heart of some of those who can finance to establish this experiment of a small community helping those in despair — and get them off the streets — into a respectful opportunity.