Homeless outreach has been going on in Montecito since the latter half of 2020. We've partnered with City Net to create Hands Across Montecito, that provides connection to services, and consistent outreach to help people move indoors.
Our community has been engaged in homeless outreach, with a stalwart team of volunteers from Bonnymede, Montecito Shores, Sea Meadow and more.
When a community comes together to solve a problem by collaborating, volunteering, and supporting a project like this, it's a key ingredient for success.
Please join us in supporting Hands Across Montecito! You can donate at the link below. You're also welcome to reach out to us if you want more information, or if you want to learn how to get involved in the outreach project, and be a hand reaching across Montecito.
Your generosity is vital in making an impact on sheltering Montecito's most vulnerable.
In the News...
Monday morning at 6 am, a crowd of 30 gathered at a church in Santa Barbara’s Eastside to perform a homeless census count. This is part of the Hands Across Montecito Project, started by the Montecito Association in response to concerns of large encampments growing along the tracks, encounters on Coast Village, thefts, and fires. […]
In the middle of another heat wave, it’s 95 degrees near the beach in Montecito and everybody has moved indoors. Everybody except our small group trailing behind Luis Alvarado, a determined homeless outreach specialist with the Santa Barbara County Behavioral Wellness Department who has come to Montecito to make contact
Last Friday, Jane Olson, one of the founding members of our Hands Across Montecito homeless outreach project, happened to be out walking near Hammond’s Meadow and encountered a very thin woman screaming at the top of her lungs and disrobing. We had met this woman before, during the homeless point-in-time count at East Beach in […]
The “Holy Grail” of abandoned homeless sites was tackled on August 30 in a cleanup being done by a team of homeless workers who have been enlisted by Earthcomb, the brainchild, and business of Andrew Velikanje. The site, located at the end of South Kellogg Avenue in Goleta, is the second in Heal the Ocean’s […]
In the spring of 2020, as the pandemic unfolded, Montecito neighbors started noticing a significant uptick in homeless individuals on Coast Village Road, traveling along the tracks, and encampments began mushrooming along the freeway. I contacted Luis Alvarado from Santa Barbara County’s Behavioral Wellness Homeless Outreach Team, and
The days are getting shorter and cooler. Fog is drifting in, and it feels like spooky season is rolling in with it. Everyone is craving pumpkin spice, and dreams of the Great Pumpkin lighting up Halloween steal into our children’s blissful sleep. All of this can only mean one thing… Yes, it’s time for Beautification […]
You’ve read in these pages about Hands Across Montecito, a very successful homeless outreach and placement team of the Montecito Association, made up of Montecitans, Sheriffs, Montecito Fire, Behavioral Wellness, and City Net. Our first client, Andrew Verlikanje, really hates litter, so he picks it up. Andrew impressed Heal the Ocean when he wanted to […]
Two weeks ago, the Hands team was on a countywide conference call regarding the upcoming camp clearing by Union Pacific. Outreach teams should attempt to get everyone camping along the railroad tracks into shelter before the clearing. Shelter beds, of course, are scarce. PATH, the Rescue Mission, and the Salvation Army are the
I got a bit of a surprise call last Thursday from Agent Potter, with Union Pacific [UP] Railroad Police. We’d been notified by the County’s encampment response team that UP was coming to do a South County cleanout sometime in April – outreach teams should work to clear inhabitants of camps so that Union Pacific […]
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office awarded its Exceptional Civilian Award to Montecito Association Executive Director Sharon Byrne, citing her “extraordinary dedication to others and her collaborative work” with the Sheriff’s deputies, primarily in creating and managing the Hands Across Montecito project to address
Our group of 10 with morning bleary-eyed faces, meets at the Coast Village Chevron station and trudges down through the newly-rebuilt Butterfly Lane tunnel with its colorful murals. We emerge on the railroad tracks and begin searching from the Bird Refuge to Eucalyptus Lane. As usual, we find only a few people, but there are […]