Tikkun Olam III: From Homeless to Helpful

On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, Jewish Family Service held the third event in the Tikkun Olam (Repair the World) series entitled "From Homeless to Hopeful.”

Howard Cohen, Clinical Services and Senior Programs Coordinator for Jewish Family Service (JFS), and Elizabeth Mason, Licensed Marriage and Family therapist, organized a five-person panel to discuss the issue of homelessness in the Santa Barbara community. The goal of the evening was not to complain about the problem, but to develop or brainstorm ideas to combat the issue as a community.

Included on the panel were Adam Clarke, Lead Case Manager for The Salvation Army, Santa Barbara, Philippe Chapelle, homeless citizen, Michaelo Rosso, Justice Alliance Supervisor, Department of Behavioral Wellness, County of Santa Barbara, Jeff Shaffer Community Coordinator, Central Coast Collaborative on Homelessness, and Officer K. Hove, Restorative Policing/Court City of Santa Barbara, Police Department.

A lively discussion ensued and created over 25 solutions for homelessness and a better understanding of the real issues that face this growing population.

JFS supports a “housing-first model” and Howard mentioned spearheading a similar program here in Santa Barbara that was put into effect by JFS in the New Jersey area. JFS case managers help find unhoused citizens a place to live, integrate them into living in a stable environment, set up health and mental services, and find income sources.

We will be posting all the solutions mentioned during the event within a few days and plan a follow up discussion sometime this year.