The Business of Homelessness in Santa Barbara, California

Hot Topic Re-set. Column by Sharon Byrne, originally published 2/9/12

When you think about helping the homeless, what do you envision? Giving a dollar here and there to a panhandler? Giving someone a sleeping bag? Helping someone find a job? Many of us think of what we can contribute on a personal level to help.

Organizationally, I guess there’s a comforting image in our collective psyches that churches are, or were, the sanctuary of the poor and destitute. There are charities too, that distribute food, clothing, and aid to the homeless and working poor. Then I remember stories like the Matchstick Girl, or A Tale of Two Cities, and with it, my mum’s British saying, used to describe chilly weather:

It’s cold as charity.

I often encounter homeless individuals who insist the shelter off lower Milpas is terrible, that everyone’s on drugs, drinking and/or insane in there, that the staff just cares about making themselves rich, and not about truly helping the homeless.

In my line of work, one always has to remember that all grievances have a back-story behind  them, and an agenda to follow. One has to work a little to ferret out from the aggrieved what is actually going on. Unfortunately, the homeless don’t always render themselves the most credible persuaders, darn it. When a guy is weaving, blasting beer breath at me, and exhorting outrage over his unfair treatment at the hands of shelter staff, my first reaction is to laugh. Not appropriate, I know. So I try to hear him out, look at the world through his eyes a moment, and attempt to discern the outlines of the bit of enlightenment struggling for revelation. When I hear a similar thread emerging across multiple stories, it signifies to me that there are two possibilities here:

  1. They all sit around somewhere, and craft, and then rehearse the stories so they’ll be believable OR
  2. There’s some vein of truth here that warrants closer inspection

The first possibility probably does happen, but requires planning, coordination, and not just a bit of stage management to pull off. That’s a lot of effort for some of these guys to consistently sustain.

So I am leaning to the second possibility – when multiple people tell you something, look into it.

This rambling intro is in prelude to what I suspect is an eye-opener for many of us.

There is actually a lot of money involved in helping the homeless.

The form 990 for Casa Esperanza Homeless Center on Cacique St, right off lower Milpas, is ‘here’ (PDF left). You can get this from Guidestar, a site that contains public reporting information for all kinds of charities.

Some highlights, in case you don’t have time to pore through 32 pages of tax return data:

Revenues: Contributions and grants: $2.75 million. This is up from the previous year’s $2.2 million. They received $963,093 in government grants, and $1.6m in contributions.

(There’s at least one sector of the economy in recovery….)

Salaries, Compensation and employee benefits: $1.5m, up from $1.2m last year.

Fundraising expenses: $251,334.

Total expenses were $3.3m. So they ran a deficit,. Revenues minus expenses = -546,616.

Total assets: $5.4m. The land, buildings, and equipment was worth $6m, before depreciation.

The Executive Director is paid $123,412 annually.

Transactions involving interested persons, i.e., directors on the board. David Peri earned $233,000 as the CFO, nearly 10% of the annual revenues. They also paid Juliana Minsky, another board director, $4,500 for Public Relations Services.

Keep in mind these are the finances for one shelter. We have four in the city.

Casa Esperanza is the only one that serves people not willing to enter sobriety programs. It shelters up to 200 in the winter months, and has a daily feeding. It often holds up one or two success stories, lending the impression of widespread results. But for those living and working in and around Milpas, who see some of the same individuals on the street, sometimes year after year, after 12 years of the shelter’s existence, the questions they ponder are:

For all the money that has been spent, is still being spent, and what it’s being spent on…

How well is the city really tackling this issue?
Could it be done better?

Some will read this article, and think ‘$2m a year… 12 years! Give me $2m, and I’ll fix this problem tomorrow!’

Circling back to the homeless individuals that report things are not great in the shelter…. maybe they’re mad because they got kicked out. Perhaps they’re upset over some slight, real or imagined, they feel staff inflicted on them.

Or maybe they’re seeing something we’re not, from the inside.

Something that needs looking into.

About Sharon Byrne

About Sharon Byrne Sharon Byrne found herself unwittingly thrust into municipal and political issues when she took a sabbatical from her corporate career, and moved to West Downtown in late 2008, a neighborhood in serious decay. She helped engineer a major turnaround there working with engaged neighborhood women. She served on the Franklin Neighborhood Center Advisory Committee, and the Neighborhood Advisory Council. She is the executive director for the Milpas Community Association, and currently serves on the Advisory Boards for the Salvation Army Hospitality House and Santa Barbara County Alcohol and Drug Problems. She is a former Deputy Director of Common Cause in California, and has worked on several ballot initiatives locally and at the state level. Her education in engineering and psychology gives her an unusual mix of skills for working on quality-of-life, public safety, and public policy issues.

61 Responses to The Business of Homelessness in Santa Barbara, California

  1. Tale of Two Cities February 9, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    City college annually pays four directors over $100,000 each with benefits to run a half-day pre-school day care center 9 months a year for selective yuppie parents of 40 kids age three to five.

    Casa pays the director $123,000 for this thankless job dealing with 200 hostile vagrants 24/7/365.

    Compare and contrast. Who gets the most bang for the buck? Taxpayers or private donors.

    • Maureen Earls February 10, 2012 at 11:26 am #

      Sharon Byrnes asks us to question the expenditures of Casa Esperanza for salaries and questions its effectiveness. As a person of faith I need to ask – how do you measure effectiveness? Our faith communities are there in Casa regularly serving the noon meals or volunteering. There we see reflected the 30% of those without homes who are mentally ill and vetrans without homes and jobs being provided basic human rights for food and shelter, connected with services and treated with dignity by staff. Yes getting anyone with addictions into treatment is a complicated process. Beyond charity, Casa staff and faith communities support justice: the data supported more effective and efficient structural change- moving all these folks into supportive housing – a room with a case worker. Our Housing Authority has provided over 3,000 units of affordable housing and is working to create more to include this population. Does 457 Casa clients moving into housing and treatment in one year count as success for Sharon Byrne?

      Sharon’s article did not include the whole truth about salaries in Casa’s budget. The increase in salaries the referenced year is due to Casa’s agreement to take under its umbrella Community Kitchen. In addition the article makes it sound like David Peri has this huge salary in the Casa budget, when analysis reveals expenses are for many services including front and back office staff, human resources, and grant management, and at discounted rates. Does Sharon consider the services as unnecessary or the salaries paid inappropriate? The public is served best when the whole truth is provided.
      Maureen Earls

  2. anon. February 9, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    That’s absolutely shocking that the CFO, David Peri, is paid that much! It’s more than $100K than the ED who really does have hard work. How does that payment to Peri (and who approved it?) compared with that to others working in non-profits working with the homeless in other jurisdictions of similar size?

  3. Realitybasedinsb February 9, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    David Peri is paid over $200,000 for keeping the books?! Are you f-in kidding me? And the Director makes $120,000???
    That is ludicrous. Probation officers and sheriffs deouties make far less, and deal with far more than “200vagrants”. Directors of other service oriented non profits in town make less. The point is, this is just wrong and since most of these are public dollars it needs to be investigated

  4. Larry February 9, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    Great article Sharon!

  5. no hussein obama 21012 February 9, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    Wordy dialogue is what we dont need more of! Get of your keyboard and take a walk around the cacique st homeless shelter. listen to the conversations that the people are having. open your eyes and look around. remember what you see is real, it is not judgement. It will take the average person, uneducated about mental health / drug and alcohol abuse to realize that we are just giving the majority of these people a reason to continue living in a way that is unhealthy, sometimes illegal, and usually just plain lazy. another study and more money will not make this go away.

  6. Byrne is Hot! February 9, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    Very well expressed analysis. Good job SBV putting Sharon on your team. This is quality journalism providing, facts, background, candor, and intellectual challenges to the reader. Brilliant.

  7. Anonymous February 9, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Eye opening to say the least. I don’t begrudge an ED making $123,000 – (does this include benefits?), but it is totally inappropriate for 2 Board members to be beging paid. Did Peri’s CPA firm also do the “independent audit”?

  8. Boycott Boy February 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    I can’t imagine anyone whose had need of charity describing it as cold. I’ve never felt warmer than when I’m enjoying a nutritional meal at the Casa.
    In the past you’ve claimed these non-profits are enabling the free rides that all us homeless folks here in town receive. Now your singing a different tune. We need to look into Casa’s finances to better serve “the free loaders” right?
    I will bet my entire life savings ($3.25) that for every dollar wasted at the Casa, $20 is wasted by the city’s extravagant approaches to solving any problem.
    When it comes to fences and turned benches, you’re the first in line to say “right on”…. When you venture into the front lines of battling poverty, all you can find is inconsistency and inconvenience.
    My mom also had a saying:
    “A leopard cannot change it’s spots.”

  9. Rob Pearson February 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    It would be nice if the author broke down the numbers she so blatantly misrepresents. Mr. Peri’s CPA firm handles all of Casa Esperanza’s back office work (from keeping the books, to extensive grant writing and reporting to foundations and government funders, payroll, HR and a host of other duites). Truth be told, Casa receives a great deal of pro-bono work from Mr. Peri’s firm–far and above what they are paid. This arrangement saves a great deal of money allowing donations to go to direct services vs. staffing. Casa saves lives everyday. Obviously the author does not feel that the homeless represent lives worth saving…particularly if you are a drunk. I guess only rich folks are entitled to have substance abuse problems. She wants the homeless and Casa gone. She offers no solutions or viable alternatives to Casa. Perhaps she should volunteer her time at Casa like so many of us do–particualrly the faith community. Let’s deal in fact vs. fiction

    • William Munny February 10, 2012 at 8:47 am #

      Classic. Rob Pearson the CEO of the Santa Barbara Housing Authority? I’m shocked, SHOCKED that you would step up to defend the shocking amounts of money this City spends supporting Homeless, Inc. The Housing Authority is one of the biggest problems this town has as, under Pearson’s direction, they try to build more and more subsidized taxpayer housing. One way to justify his salary and benefits is to pump up the size of his department and the number of units under their control.

      Circle the Homeless, Inc. wagons and defend/justify the money spent in the “non-profit” sector too. That way you can point to the compensation packages in the “non-profit” sector to justify the compensation packages at the SB Housing Authority. We’re just trying to keep pace! The whole thing is a farce. If you’re department and Homeless, Inc. as a whole is doing a good job with the immense resources provided you, explain why the homeless population in this town has increased every year since they started surveying the numbers? If you aren’t solving the problem, how do you defend the continued allocation of resources to your department and Homeless, Inc. as a whole?

      • Sharon February 10, 2012 at 9:29 am #

        I did volunteer at Casa, with my daughter, on Sundays, serving dinner, from April to July last year. I was dismissed from volunteering, in a letter sent by certified mail, for not showing up one week. Funny, we signed in every time, but the monthly volunteer sheet with our names on it, kept disappearing out of the volunteer book.

    • NO hussein obama 2012 February 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

      blatant misrepresentation? casa saves lives every day? I was just there today. there was no life saving for the two hours I was there. lots of free food was handed out! and people were helped! been there lately rob.

    • NO hussein obama 2012 February 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      BTW rob, lots of people have substance abuse problems, some actually take action and recover and most at casa realize they have found a great ENABLER that allows them to live doing drugs n drinking when there familys have kicked them to the curb. casa does a great job of doing that. go spend some time there rob! really go talk to the people that live and eat there.

    • Eastside Resident September 20, 2013 at 7:15 am #

      Interesting comments Rob. As we look back over these comments of a year + ago its very interesting to note where Casa’s finances are now. Almost bankrupt. How about the fact that Sharon DID in fact volunteer her time serving lunch there (as well as her daughter) but was asked not to come back, that her services “were not needed”. How about the fact that C.E. has stated that they borrow money to make payroll? How about the County Board of Supervisor’s stating… 15 TIMES – that the shelter is unsustainable in the current state? These are all facts. As a County Supe indicates… “What makes you think that an infusion of money is going to make the management of Casa all of a sudden figure out how to be fiscally responsible?!” You’re right, let’s deal in fact vs. fiction. Casa is living in a fictional world, thinking that borrowing money to make payroll is going to be a sustainable business model… all without even telling their own board of directors… If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

  10. Anonymous February 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    @Rob: Whether the exhorbitant accounting fee was paid to Mr. Peri, or to “his firm” seems sort of irrelevant. One has to wonder why so much of this charity’s funding goes toward “accounting”.

    The number in question wasn’t fabricated by Ms. Byrne, It comes from CE’s tax filing. Trying to justify this type of outrageous expenditure by saying it went “to a firm” instead of “to Mr. Peri” seems like more of an attempt to confuse and obfuscate things than anything I observed in this article.

  11. EastSmart February 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    @Tale – You’re funny. Great Democratic tactic. Way to attempt to deflect attention from the real issue!

    Laying out a carrot for homeless people from all over the country to come to Santa Barbara to get a handout with no real responsibility to respect the community which they choose to visit? That’s what’s happening. A large majority of the people on our streets are from out of the area. Sharon’s got some really good points. Why make it so easy for them to stay on the streets and welcome them here?

    • William Munny February 10, 2012 at 9:05 am #

      Did you know Rob Pearson and the SB Housing Authority define someone as a “local” homeless person if they’ve been in town for more than 24 hours? Apparently a transient is someone who has been here for less than 24 hours. After that Pearson said they are considered “local.” Keep that in mind next time they share with you their statistics about what percentage of our homeless population are “locals.”

  12. Beating a Dead Horse February 9, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    So let’s get this straight: The author suggests that Mr. Peri is paid $233,000 to be CFO. True? Not by a long-shot. The fact is his employees get paid to provide not only front office and back office, but human resources and grant management as well. So that 10% is not just for accounting and that 10% of revenue is actually 100% in line and standard, if not better? Yes indeed. And that service actually saves money that can can go to direct services? Yep. Seems to me if you are going to attack the integrity of one of the greatest men in Santa Barbara (he won an award for that), you had darn well better be right. Big mistake there. Apology forthcoming? Probably not. Pretty sad. In the past year there has been no person in Santa Barbara railing againt the by being treated unfairly and inaccurately by the media than Sharon Byrne. If ya can’t beat em, join em!

  13. Salary February 9, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    I note that journalism class at SBCC is only $26 per unit. One of the things they teach is context. For instance, if an inference is made that a salary is too high, it is good to bring context to such a claim. And when an op-ed writer fails to do this, it is a sign that they are spinning rather than debating or convincing. This is certainly the case here. If one were to read the recent report for non-profit executive salary, it is evident that this salary is average and similar to others. And then there is broader context. For example, the average BASE salary for a Junior High School Prinicpal in Santa Barbara is $120,000. Next….

    • anon. February 10, 2012 at 10:46 am #

      As for the SBCC journalism, it probably also emphasizes fairness and non-bias in news reporting, yet one of the instructors there is Joshua Molina, an incessant Das booster, as shown yet again in the recent story, in the fictional sense of the word, about how it is because of Hodge is running against Das’s guru, Hannah-Beth, that Fiona Ma voted against a recent Das-proposed bill. (!)

      Yes, context is important, but so are the facts that Byrne reported. If, in fact, all those services that “Beating” mentions are centered in Peri’s office, that is cause for concern.

  14. CaciqueKidYouNot February 10, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    Transparency. Byrne stated the facts. No problem also learning about the context. Thank you Sharon for opening people’s eyes to the realities of Homeless Inc and its insatiable open maw requiring this endless public support with the goal to grow more homeless in order to grow more public support in order to support Homeless Inc’s own salaries, benefits and existence.

    Getting attitude from the ever-growing list of non-local recipients is not a good return for this community’s overly generous and misdirected public investment. Getting attitude from the community over-burdened by this enabling faux piety is long over-due. With this much community money at stake, it is time to re-open permanent care institutions like the former county hospitals.

    Permanent, supervised sheltering is the only answer. No more revolving door catch and release programs like the millions going to Casa et al continue to dysfunctionally offer. Wealthy Montecito donors send the message to keep this mess out of our backyards, and we will pay you to put it in someone else’s.

    Keep it up Sharon, a lot more people agree with you than noisy and predictable din of the self-serving few. Homeless Inc needs to be held accountable. Thank you for your courage to shine light on its hard realities rather that its misdirected promises.

  15. Weeping Wil February 10, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    City Housing Authority guarantees a block of liberal voters. The more units built under city control, the more voters locked into a permanent voting constituency that will defend increasing public benefits at someone else’s expense.

    Has a tipping point been passed with the current 17% number of city-subsidized housing units all voting for more city benefits in any way shape or form …. for themselves, but not for the good of the rest of the community?

    Bendy White looks like he is finally waking up from his long snooze and is protesting the elimination of the graffiti truck which is a clear benefit to the rest of the community. Bendy, break away from the hammerlock the employee union liberals have kept you in since you got elected and disappeared. Please assert the political independence you promised when you got elected.

    Bendy, you only have a short time to undo the damage you inflicted on yourself selling out so quickly your independent voter base to the special interests you let seduce you. Start splitting the votes like you promised or you can count on a one-term in office because your base will not be there for you next time and you will get labeled as one more union shill we don’t need.

    • anon. February 10, 2012 at 10:48 am #

      “elimination of the graffiti truck”???

      • BucketBrigade February 10, 2012 at 11:04 am #

        See what you learn reading the SB NewsPress: general funding for the (graffiti abatement) program was slashed

        • anon. February 10, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

          Thanks! That’s awful – that’s been one of the city services that is relatively prompt and is positive for the neighborhoods. No wonder the graffiti has been seeming to blossom in the last weeks.

  16. JR February 10, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    Casa needs to spend more money on security and less on the CFO. The lack of a authoritative presence @ Casa Esperanza is beyond disturbing.

  17. Anonymous February 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Why doesn’t Casa Esperanza organize a group of homeless individuals to clean up the graffiti? Gives them a way to pay back the community for the resources they are given, and cleans up the neighborhoods at no cost to the city, too. Win-win.

    • NO hussein obama 2012 February 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

      great idea! but that involves being sober and working! spent two hours there today helping. go check it out one day, half hour and talk to the people! WOW!

      • anon. February 12, 2012 at 7:39 am #

        “WOW!” what? What did you find, what were your perceptions, what was your experience helping there yesterday? I might also do it, but it is daunting to even walk by the area.

  18. Pay to Play February 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    If only this group of vagrants would think in terms of appreciation instead of entitlement, there could be better community solutions. Plus sending the message if you come to Santa Barbara, you have to work for your handouts.

    Already the message we no longer give handouts on the streets for drugs and booze has cut down the magnet allure of this silly beach town. You come here with your hand out and you do starve, if all you do is beg to keep your bad habits going.

  19. Olivia Walling February 11, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    I fully support the vital work that Casa Esperanza does in our community to provide assistance to our most vulnerable citizens. It is particularly worrying that so many responders seek to blame the homeless for homelessness and to imagine that the homeless just need to work harder. If in fact the homeless were able to organize to do many of the activities suggested, they would not be homeless. In a former time, the language that those responding to this message with anger and vitriol toward the homeless would have been directed at Jews, African Americans, immigrants, and women. Why would it be acceptable to ostracize and demonize the homeless but not other groups who we have mistakenly blamed for society’s problems in the past. The homeless are not the cause of our problems; they are a symptom of them. Our most fundamental obligation as a society is to care for those who cannot take care of themselves, period.

    • Homeless Inc Enablers February 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

      Here we go again. No, these are not the most vulnerable in our society because the most vulnerable are already in our social safety net or in state institutions. Those still on the streets are there by choice. And choosing to be homeless in Santa Barbara is not the right choice to make.

      Here we go again with the false dichotomy framing Byrne warned us about. Telling professional vagrants to move on is not the same as persecuting Jews. Got that? Have a little respect for your audience. Anger and vitriol are appropriate responses to these entitled professional vagrants and panhandlers. And no, very few of us are only one paycheck from homelessness either, before that tired old saw gets trotted out.

    • NO hussein obama 2012 February 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

      Have you been there olivia or do you just throw money or influence at the casa. part of our problem is most of these keyboard jockeys haven’t even slowed down as they drive by that place. stop by and talk to those people, then maybe there will be an intellectual understanding of what help really is needed!

    • Anonymous February 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

      Oh, come on. There are hundreds of people on the streets who managed to figure out how to travel to Santa Barbara to get a free handout, without having to give up their addictions, hang out on the beach, and be lauded by enablers who over-exaggerate their nobility whenver the FACTs are brought to light. Good job Sharon, we need more truth-telling and less sentimentality when it comes to these people who embrace the homelessness as a lifestyle.

  20. Anonymous February 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    I, for one, am not questioning the work or the fees that Mr. Peri and his firm may be charging, or the good work he may be doing in the community. But there is an appearance of a conflict of interest in that he sits on the Board. Where is the independent oversight?

    • Anonymous February 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

      Casa Esperanza has a THIRD party audit on an annual basis. This is filed with the Attorney General and with all government contractors, who also complete regular audits. There is appearance and reality. Sadly, there are individuals who are paid a tidy sum by business interests to create false perceptions.

  21. Anon February 12, 2012 at 2:03 am #

    Sure looks like Mike Foley is spending a lot of time on this site, defending his operation, and trying to silence any who question it by threatening them with implications of racism and narrow-mindedness in anonymous comments. Maybe he should lay off the keyboard, and actually help his ‘clients’.

  22. Grifters February 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    RV vagrants using our streets for their free home address have valid drivers licenses and the means to obtain car insurance and gasoline for their behemoth guzzlers. No sense feeling sorry for them too.

  23. Anonymous February 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    This is great reporting but it’s also a very sad story when the best paying jobs are in the non profit sector. Looks like money has infiltrated every aspect of society.

    • Anonymous February 14, 2012 at 7:28 am #

      Still would rather have one of those city jobs with a full holiday furlough every holiday and alternating fridays off.

  24. Anonymous February 12, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Casa Esperanza doesn’t belong there. The whole area is now a mess. I feel sorry for Milpas businesses – never ending construction AND homeless issues. That should be vintage old town Santa Barbara now that State Street has gone corporate.

  25. Boots on the ground camp February 13, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Casa Esperanza belongs in Camp Roberts.

  26. Emily Allen February 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    I’m disappointed in this Santa Barbara View column by Sharon Byrne. She makes the claim that there was a year over year increase in salary without making it clear that this was due to Casa Esperanza taking over the Community Kitchen which was on the verge of going under if Casa did not umbrella this important food service program for the poor. I would imagine that merging the two non-profits will result in a long term savings in administrative costs. I haven’t seen a correction in the Santa Barbara View. And this is misinformation that should be corrected.

    • Anon February 14, 2012 at 8:51 am #

      Is this the same Emily Allen whose father Joe Allen is the ACLU lawyer suing the city to insist RVs be allowed to continue parking on our streets? The same Emily Allen who is a homeless-services provider and homeless housing advocate? Homeless, Inc is trolling the View!

    • William Munny February 15, 2012 at 9:37 am #

      Welcome Emily. One more individual on the payroll of Homeless, Inc. who has come to support the “cause.” Of course your disappointed with Sharon Byrne. She refuses to bow down to the Homeless, Inc. business coalition in town.

  27. Byrning Questions February 13, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    If a non-profit “goes under” is that not reason enough to cease its services because this is a clear indication it lacks community support of its intended mission? Labeling this Community Kitchen activity “feeding the poor” again is a false framing. Enabling the entitled with an endless stream of dependency hooks is more accurate. Creating a magnet to draw even more vagrants to Santa Barbara for free hand-outs works too.

  28. Nancy February 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    So much whining about the homeless issue goes on in this community. Perhaps we should look at new and different ways of dealing with this issue. For years I have talked to people about a trade school in this community. People who are disabled and unable to get a regular education could learn a trade and start a business. Many of the homeless would be able to participate in this school through grants just like anybody else does. That is one idea we all as a community can work on. Many countries use trade schools to help their poor. Why can’t we?

    • William Munny February 15, 2012 at 9:52 am #

      Would you propose the community put new money into your proposed trade school or should Homeless, Inc. use some of their existing funds? Homeless, Inc. will never support a shift of current funding, they’ll always ask for more.

      Problem with shifting current funding is almost all of it is spent on salaries and benefits for the employees of Homeless, Inc. Most of these non-profits pay little to no rent or mortgage payments due to the failed policies of Rob Pearson and the SB Housing Authority. Rather than use these government subsidized funds to solve the homeless problem and/or lower their costs of operation, they simply pass it along to employees in increased salaries and benefits.

      • Long history of trade schools here February 15, 2012 at 11:03 am #

        Tax dollars already support community colleges to provide exactly this type of practical hands-on training. Homeless Inc always plays the victim card, but never acknowledges what is already out there for them. These scam artists just look for excuses to maintain their status quo. Don’t let them fool you.

  29. el_smurfo February 13, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    Some old tired thinking that put us where we are. The “new and different” way is a one way bus ticket to the next suckers town on the list…perhaps Santa Cruz or San Francisco. Enabling antisocial behavior with backfiring incentives are what got us this bunch in the first place.

  30. Anonymous February 13, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    It’s all about the difference between a hand-up and a hand-out. Casa Esperanza doesn’t seem to require a thing from its “clients” in exchange for the apparently unlimited handouts it provides. And I’m still waiting for a good accounting of the demographics of the homeless population. Seems like that big Common Ground survey got scuttled pretty quickly and quietly, which leads one to believe the administrators didn’t like the actual results.

  31. anon. February 13, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    Community Kitchen served a variety of needs and locations; if the Casa Esperanza has taken it over, does it, too, plan to serve a variety of needs – and if so, how does this fit with its conditional use permit?

  32. City College is playing your song February 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    City college has been around for over 100 years teaching trades and short-term employment skills for low cost, lots of scholarships and tremendous individual support for the disabled and veterans. Stop the broken record of excuse after excuse why these souls don’t get on with their lives.

  33. Byrning Questions February 14, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Is also Olivia Wailing Emily’s side-kick, channeling the discredited Flacks-Attacks to a new generation of young people living off the public trough? Indeed, Homeless Inc troll alert but you know them by their canned and predictable messages alone. A new generation programmed to spend other people’s money, play the faux-guilt card, scold with faux-authority beyond their tender years and always with their hands out for other’s money not earned. Saul Alinsky’s new generation of red-diaper babies.

  34. Following Munny February 15, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    In return for being on Homeless Inc’s payroll, you get the following:

    1. Gilt-edge guilt card to play at any and all occasions
    2. One more paycheck to keep yourself from homelessness
    3. Easy spigot faucet that turns on endless streams of false piety
    4. Deed to rent-free real estate on any Santa Barbara street you choose to park your RV
    5. Stake in the $500,000 annually handed out to State Street drunks and vagrants
    6. Foot washes by Grant House
    7. Free lunches at Chez Casa
    8. Organic pesticide-free soup
    9. Help Montecito estate Westmont students obtain social do-gooder merit badges
    10. Attend NIMBY fund-raisers at the Biltmore to further one’s own social contacts

    • Chris G. February 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      I don’t know of many yuppie selective parents unless you are suggesting “daddies girl (father) who rakes in 3-5 Million $$$$$$$$$ a year, that can’t get his little girl to get right, yes and he or she is sending their kid to a state paid college while they rub their noses in the good life (i.e. clean clothes, a bed to sleep in that’s your own, maybe some soup or some hambuger that is a luxury, and just maybe some change left over) get that brat to realize hoe much he or she have it good. As far as Mike Foley wage??????????? his day before Jesus wil be.

      • ReeferTweeter February 15, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

        Chris, do you want to hit the edit button and start over. This time with feeling?

  35. EastSmart February 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    @ Beating, if Peri’s employees get paid to provide not only front office and back office, but human resources and grant management, why did this money go to HIM and not his company? Sounds sketchy. Sounds like an attempt at justification.

  36. Eastside Resident September 20, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    Interesting comments Rob. As we look back over these comments of a year + ago its very interesting to note where Casa’s finances are now. Almost bankrupt. How about the fact that Sharon DID in fact volunteer her time serving lunch there (as well as her daughter) but was asked not to come back, that her services “were not needed”. How about the fact that C.E. has stated that they borrow money to make payroll? How about the County Board of Supervisor’s stating… 15 TIMES – that the shelter is unsustainable in the current state? These are all facts. As a County Supe indicates… “What makes you think that an infusion of money is going to make the management of Casa all of a sudden figure out how to be fiscally responsible?!” You’re right, let’s deal in fact vs. fiction. Casa is living in a fictional world, thinking that borrowing money to make payroll is going to be a sustainable business model… all without even telling their own board of directors… If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

  37. Eastside Resident September 20, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    That was a response to Rob Pearson’s remark from February 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Leave a Reply