SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Casa Esperanza Homeless Shelter in Santa Barbara has expanded to 200 beds until March 31, 2014.
The shelter currently has 100 beds available.
This year, however, new rules apply. Those coming into the facility have to be sober and if they are not, they will have to agree to enter recovery programs.
Those that do not want to comply will be sent away to other facilities.
Executive Director Michael Foley says 159 people showed up last night. Four were turned away because they would not agree to the sobriety rules.
"Historically we have seen under 200 through December," said Foley. "In the middle of January, we go over 200. Then in spring in goes down."
He is not certain what to expect with "our change to a sobriety program, but we are watching that closely."
Foley says Casa Esperanza has a variety of resources to help those in recovery, and it has a support group of sober of people staying there to help others.
The shelter is also asking those who stay to do light duties on the property if they are capable of working.
Casa Esperanza is still looking for donations to pay for the winter shelter operations for the season. The organization is looking for community help with $200,000 in funding to handle the increased capacity.