Santa Barbara- S County

Homeless encampments popping up in Santa Barbara County

Frances: "We're in survival mode."

Homeless encampments popping up in...

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Some homeless people are getting creative with their living situation in Santa Barbara County.

It's no secret living costs in Santa Barbara is expensive and there are enough affordable housing options. 

A viewer sent in aerial photos of a homeless encampment on a coastal bluff he discovered. Turns out, many residents in that town already knew about the dwellings that are near a highway off-ramp and train tracks. 

If the camp is the county, the county and sheriff would work on this, provided the location is outside the state right of way. If it is in the state or Caltrans right of way, Caltrans and the CHP would handle.

We asked Jenny Frances, a homeless person, about how she chooses where to sleep at night. 

"You have to hide. The shelters are full of mentally ill and methamphetamine users. They're violent and bed bugs. So we prefer to stay on the streets," said Frances.

She has been homeless for 8 years and says she's just trying to "survive."

So where do you go if you're don't want to sleep at rescue shelters and don't have car? Some people pitch tents by highways and train tracks. 

It's not illegal to be homeless, but trespassing and setting up encampments are.

Here is are some options available for people who are trying to make it work in Santa Barbara: Rescue Mission, PATH Santa Barbara and New Beginnings Safe Parking.


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