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80 unit 'tiny homes' community opens in Santa Barbara for those experiencing homelessness

La Pousada is the latest 'tiny homes' style housing community to open in Santa Barbara for those experiencing homelessness
Dignity Moves
La Pousada is the latest 'tiny homes' style housing community to open in Santa Barbara for those experiencing homelessness

The innovative housing project providing temporary housing in Santa Barbara County opens Friday.

La Posada Village will house individuals living in encampments near the 101 freeway and railroad tracks in the nearby area.

The new community will have 80 rooms, provide 24/7 security, intensive case management for each resident, 3 meals a day, and mental and physical health care services and transportation.

The aims is to close the gap between living outdoors and housing stability, by offering so-called tiny homes as well as support services, says Jack Lorenz from Dignity Moves - who have partnered with Santa Barbara County on the project.

"We operate on what I call the four P's," said Lorenz. "We offer everyone a private room with a door that locks. They can bring their possessions, they can bring their pets, and then in exchange for giving them all of those amenities, folks have to agree to work with an intensive case manager to come up with an exit plan that moves them on to stable housing within 6 to 12 months"

Lorentz says the long-term goal is to get residents into permanent housing and this is the first step which is good for the individuals as well as the whole community.

"We are in a position where if we continue with the rate that we're doing right now to get to what we refer to as functional zero for unsheltered homelessness in the county," said Lorenz. "This is - in addition to being a humanitarian issue - a public health and safety issue."

La Posada is a public-private collaboration between DignityMoves, the County of Santa Barbara, and Good Samaritan Shelter, the service provider and operator.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022 and 2023.

Since joining the station she's won 10 Golden Mike Awards, 5 Los Angeles Press Club Awards, 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards and a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Writing.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for eleven years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.