The City of Goleta has its first-ever Homelessness Strategic Plan (Plan). Last night at the April 20 Goleta City Council meeting, the Council approved the Plan which was more than two years in the making. The goal of the Homelessness Strategic Plan is to provide important direction and clarity around needs, service gaps, and priorities in order to make effective and strategic funding decisions that serve both the existing homeless population, as well as those at risk of becoming homeless.
City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said, “We are proud to be one of the few cities on the Central Coast with a strategic plan to address homelessness. Unfortunately, the number of people experiencing homelessness has continued to grow and many of our residents are at-risk of becoming homeless due to the pandemic. The City of Goleta wants to play a role in trying to address this regional problem.”
Jaime Valdez, City of Goleta Neighborhood Services Interim Director, said “We’ve seen a significant increase in homeless encampments and the number of people in the community needing assistance with basic needs. The Strategic Plan will provide important policy guidance to staff and identifies specific objectives to be implemented over time to fulfill unmet needs.”
The Plan will help guide and coordinate efforts to prevent and address homelessness within the City of Goleta, and particularly, funding decisions related to homelessness initiatives and grants for non-profit service providers that focus on the homeless. Public input has been an essential part of developing the Plan, and we are grateful for the public’s input and interest in this important effort.
The City’s upcoming budget process will include consideration of funding for homelessness initiatives using this new Plan for guidance. Staff will be exploring various options for implementing some of the objectives of the Plan for the coming fiscal year and will be taking additional items to the City Council related to implementation in the near future.