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Homeless Inc., Scurrying

Sharon Byrne’s column about The Business of Homelessness in Santa Barbara has members of Homeless Inc., scurrying. The light that was shined on the multi-million-dollar program at Casa Esperanza, which has gone from 30 to 100 to 200 beds, got  Executive Director Michael Foley to lash out on Facebook…


36 Responses to “Homeless Inc., Scurrying”

  1. I think Foley’s only option is to pour Casa’s money into Earth Day and school lunch programs like Marborg did…. Nobody seems care how much money their monopoly is pulling in keeping the streets trash free!!!! Of course the Casa doesn’t advertise in the View either.

  2. REALLY DUDE?

    WOW! to say disingenuous, reprehensible hit and run journalism and the truth always wins all in the same sentance is a nice gauge of what this guy is really about. Getting boat loads of money from the fed and doners to pay his fat salary while claiming he is helping people. he just likes his fat paycheck and surely rarely is at the casa actually looking at what goes on. numbers on paper in a nice office. get a real job! casa does not need you dude.

  3. Following Munny

    “Taking care of our own” professionally conspires with each other to hit the most lucrative pan-handling spots in shifts. These bums play Santa Barbara do-gooders like a Stradivarius violin. . Police know if you feed them, they will come.

    If Helene wants to tax bars on Lower State street for the messes they create, then charge Homeless Inc for all the messes they also create that abuse way too much of our police manpower in a revolving door of blight.

  4. HennyPenny

    Something is wrong when a “charitable” executive director speaks in buzz words to malign whole swaths of people like “FOX News Watchers”, while asking compassion at the same time. Time to go Foley, you are burned out.

  5. Anonymous

    Saw a post from Emily Allen too on FB. It was only liked by James Kyriaco and two others. Mr. Foley needs to pull his posts go on a long vacation and hope this blows over. Not an issue he’ll win in the media or in the community.

  6. Word among the homeless is that they never see him at the Casa. His office is down the street. He’s trying to cash in on Lompoc’s recent homeless debacle, rushing up there to interview their homeless at one of their shelters, at midnite! He proposes to take their homeless in down here, and thus expand his empire. Saw his post on Facebook about his possible run for 4th District Supervisor. He isn’t into actually tending to the homeless. He’s just advancing his career off making them a huge cause that, of course, he simply has to be the anointed one to manage. Wonder how the homeless feel about being exploited like that…

    • Has he removed that comment and the video, too – or are they available only to his friends?

  7. Anonymous

    So the well-paid Mr. Foley responds to the IRS documents and Byrne’s thoughtful opinion column with a snide (and incorrect) personal comment on Facebook. He could have at least paid his pricey PR person to craft a dignified, correctly spelled reply. Or he could even have written his own article for SBView that explains how Casa Esperanza’s negative effect on the community is “taking care of our own.” Apparently he believes the “rights” of the homeless come before those of our own decent, hardworking residents, the taxpayers who pay his salary. Most of us are working like crazy, trying to hold on to what we’ve got, and would never think of treating someone else’s property the way so many of those Casa-related homeless do. Show a little gratitude, and even some respect to those of us who make all of this possible, please. Next time I get an expensive mailing from Casa Esperanza, pleading for even more money, I’ll remember Mr. Foley’s immaturity that passes for leadership in this town. Not another dime for this organization that is so co-dependent on the homeless.

  8. Taking care of our own, my @$$!! Everyone at Casa Esperanza is from out of town. The local homeless won’t go there. Ask the police. Ask the neighbors. He’s running a homeless tourism racket in there!

  9. HennyPenny

    Only reason Montecito swells support Casa is to keep the bums from knocking at their own gates. Why don’t the bums gravitate to Coast Village Road instead of State Street – heck of a lot more money in Montecito to scam. Appears Coast Village Road gets better policing than downtown Santa Barbara. Why is that?

  10. William Munny

    “We take Care of our Own” – Truer words have never been spoken when it comes to Homeless, Inc. They take care of themselves first and foremost with generous salaries and benefits.

    On the other hand – “Hit and run” – Who is he kidding? Byrne has been very vocal and more than willing to meet with Foley and other representatives of Homeless, Inc. Just because what the daylight she’s shone on Foley’s budget hits a little too close to home is no reason to dismiss what she’s saying. Moreover, what about the opinions of the overwhelming majority of individuals on this website who clearly agree with the concerns she raised? Are they too to be dismissed?

    This is prototypical of the thinking in Homeless, Inc. If you support growing their corporate budgets, then you “get it” and are a compassionate human being. If you believe providing more tax dollars for the homeless to migrate to Santa Barbara is the wrong approach, you’re ignorant and cold-hearted.

    Perhaps Foley should stop “taking care of his own” and start taking care of the homeless problem that he’s going very well compensated to fix.

    • REALLY DUDE?

      DEAL is hes not fixing it, IT IS FIXED FOR HIM!!! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    • Following more Munny

      Police understand the answers: STOP feeding them! STOP making it so easy to be homeless in Santa Barbara! STOP over-burdening our police department with this Homeless Inc insanity! Emily Allen’s father is a court-appointed defense lawyer. Add those millions he rakes in defending these scofflaws to Homeless Inc’s bottom line. Grow more bottom-feeder indigent crime in our town, and you grow Joe Allen’s cosy bottom line at the same time.

      • Agreed – the police know. So do the firefighters. The trouble is, the city won’t let them tell what they know because it would look bad for Homeless, Inc, whose two biggest allies are Grant and Helene, and of course, now Cathy. Better to frame SBPD and SBFD as whiny, greedy overpaid thugs. They’re actually serving as babysitter, haz mat crew, and one-stop medical care for the giant mess created by Homeless, Inc.

        • TweetieBird

          The city is us, not Cathy or Bendy, Grant and Helene. We are the ones who must send a very different message that we 100% support all police efforts to control this growing abuse of our hometown.

          City laxness has done in downtown retail, which ironically is the life blood for our city services. The City elected officials are defeating only themselves, sickening our downtown business district and making visitors happy to leave and never come back.

          Homeless Inc’s guilt card is a house of cards. Look past them playing their guilt card and recognize their own selfish interests making Santa Barbara a magnet for more vagrants. They have no corner on the morality of this issue. Just the opposite, enabling dependency is the worst offense of all.

          Repeat this: When Homeless Inc plays their guilt card, say enabling dependency is the worst offense of all.

          Few can even use parks today any longer. Families shun them when they should be relishing this community resource. Why even bother with Integrated Pest Management, when vagrants over-taking parks is more toxic to their enjoyment than any possible pesticide. Time for a liberal use of Round Up (and move ‘em out)

          State Street and many beach areas are getting more over-run every day. Cleaning up Milpas only forced these same vagrant problems elsewhere in our city. When do you think enough is enough? That is always your choice –not the “city’s choice”. Don’t enable bad behavior.

  11. Tale of Two Cities

    We all came to Santa Barbara homeless. Some of us got jobs, paid rent or bought houses……. and stayed. Some of got hand-outs and a free ride with attitude………. and stayed too. And told their friends to come on down too ’cause livin’ is easy in SB, when you work all the Homeless Inc angles.

    • Granny Knows Best

      Instead spending millions on Homeless Inc every year, invest that money in Safe Senior Shopping Days Downtown and watch our city turn around.

  12. DO Member

    Treat Homeless Inc as a peripheral and secondary nuisance. Spend efforts first making downtown healthy again for retail. Homeless vagrant demands become immediately secondary. If they get in the way of a healthy downtown, they are gone. End of discussion. Make a list: what would it take to bring back local shoppers downtown. Then set out to work on it, item by item. Tell vagrants they are not part of a healthy downtown and they have to move elsewhere to support their lifestyle choices.

  13. Anonymous

    Never seen tis issue covered before. Props for doing the unthinkable!

  14. Anonymous

    The Mayor of Foleytown can hide behind the Boss, but we citizens have finally figured out how we’ve been duped, bullied, guilt-tripped and extorted into a dysfunctional relationship with an ever-growing population of homeless and homeless enablers that feed on each other and degrade our community. This is not how we take care of our own.

  15. Eastside 20 years

    Foleytown is right. He turned Milpas St into derelict-ville. We have indeed been bullied and duped by the likes of him for far too long. Kudos, SB View and Byrne, for taking this one head-on! It’s time we stand up to this extortion, and call out Homeless, Inc. for the lies they’ve foisted on us, like ‘taking care of our own’ – only if you call the entire state and nation’s homeless ‘our own’. Let’s turn off the financial spigots that keep Homeless, Inc growing without bounds. Let’s hear the truth of it from the police. It’s time to hold our elected officials accountable to US, the citizens. Stop giving away our parks, our streets, our rights, and our livelihoods to grifters, who by merely traipsing into our jurisdiction are somehow now entitled to more rights than we are. ENOUGH.

  16. Anonymous

    200 beds? Really ?? That explains things on lower Milpas

  17. Nurse Ratchet

    Case for re-opening state hospitals. If alcoholism is a “disease”, these people are sick and need to be held in 24/7/365 facilities until they get well. Huge diversion of time, manpower and money maintaining this revolving door catch and release for street drunks, that could be far better spent re-opening state hospitals.

    One Flew Over the CooCoo’s Nest was not a documentary. What is happening today should shock the conscience and pocket-book far more than a overly dramatized, fictionalized movie setting intended to get laughs but not failed social reform.

    ACLU should be leading the charge to re-open these institutional care facilities so police can go back to keeping the rest of us safe, rather than wasting their expensive skills and training baby-sitting this army of professional drunks.

    When crime blotters tell the story over and over again: drug and alcohol abuse along with domestic violence often as the secondary effect of the first offenses, society’s systematic re-orientation handling of drunks and illegal drug user is in first order.

  18. BekinsMan

    Cleaning up Milpas has only moved these problems elsewhere. Stop pretending past city social policies are not the problem because they certainly have proven themselves not to be the solution. Other local communities are a lot cleaner than Santa Barbara. Learn what they are doing right and what Santa Barbara continues to get wrong.

    • Cleaning up Milpas?? Milpas has _not_ been cleaned up, at least not the section from Mason (Mickey D’s) and Cacique (Casa Desesperada).

  19. Compassionate response

    Compassion is putting habitual drunks and drug abusers with strings of revolving door arrest records in lock-down, state supported institutionalized care settings until they get well. Compassion is not enabling them to continue their lives on the streets, committing crime after crime to the disruption of our entire social fabric.

    We ran massive TB sanitariums which isolated those infected from the rest of society for public health and safety reasons. We need to do no less with the disease of drug and alcohol addiction.

  20. There appears to be significant agreement in tone (fed up), demands (reduce number of beds and hold ‘clients’ accountable for their services, starting with sobriety), reduce the “free meal/free services” mentality, and back the efforts of police and paramedics.

    However…Casa Esperanza operates through a board of directors, and Mike Foley serves at their ‘discretion.’ I cannot find a CURRENT list of board members on line, but that is where you start to bring about change in a non-profit organization.

    Perhaps the View or its readers can download the comments and article(s) and ask that a review and discussion be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.
    When HomelessinSB.com has their ‘own’ website, as they currently do, it’s time to shift gears. Having participated in the homeless count, I had a first hand view of the issue. More services and less accountability is helping NO one.

    • William Munny

      While true in theory, in practice, no one is going to get within 100 feet of the Board of Directors of Case Esperanza that doesn’t fully support and embrace GROWING, not shrinking, the level of services and monies necessary to pay for them. While Foley may theoretically answer to the Board, who do you think it is that presents potential board members to the Board for consideration?

      Unfortunately, there are only two ways this problem is going to start to correct itself and neither will come from within Casa Espernza or the rest of Homeless, Inc.:

      1. Shed daylight (as Byrnes has done) one how Homeless, Inc. spends its resources for the general public to see. By doing so we will slowly see the donations to these “non-profit” businesses dry up as people realize they might as well just put their donations into the pockets of the employees of Homeless, Inc. and cut out the middle man.

      2. Electing public officials who don’t believe throwing more taxpayer dollars at the problem is the best solution. This necessarily includes those public officials replacing the leadership of the SB Housing Authority and instituting a new way of thinking that is geared towards solving the problem rather than growing the subsidized housing stock (again, keep in mind, a large homeless population supports the Housing Authorities claim we need more subsidized housing, which in turn supports their claim they need a lot of highly compensated individuals to run such a large and complex organization)

      • I heart Munny

        Lady Ridley-Tree is on their board, she is the leader of the ‘let the homeless eat cake’ proclamations. Ken Williams is on their board, paid County advocate for the homeless. Roger Durling, head of the Film Festival, is also on it. Munny is on the money. You’ll never get these people to reign in Foley, or change the mission of the Casa Desesperada. They live in a bubble, and they’re convinced what they’re doing is Gawd’s work.

  21. Dupe-doping times 2

    Many parallels to the failed compassionate pot issues. First was genuine compassion because we were duped into thinking there was a small and needy minority that needed help with medical dope for terminal and serious medical conditions where it was of proven value. And second that we were taking care of our own who legitimately fell into temporary homelessness but had means and wherewith all to bootstrap themselves back.

    Wrong on both counts. Homeless Inc and medical dope became huge industries with profit motives and self-serving self-preservation goals that now both trump any hint of original public concerns.

  22. Anonymous

    Fox has been the #1 ranked cable channel for over ten years. Quite a big group to dismiss