6th day of Camping Homeless...

Today has started out very good. I got up on time at 6:00PM and went to the gym till 9:00AM. Then I came here to the great coffee shop in town called Zizzos Coffee.

I love this place - Great bar attendants and a very pleasant place to come and work on the computer. Good Wi-Fi and pretty dam good coffee too. Last night I had the idea of unzipping my sleeping bag all the way and use it as a blanket instead of a cocoon and it worked out better. I keep tweaking it and making it more streamline - I am making this a challenge and I am getting into the empowerment of helping people via this blog. I have had so much experience with websites and social networking I may as will put it to use and spread a positive word that could help people. That is how blogs spread anyway - something useful and positive so that is what I am going to do is keep this blog on a very positive note but I will say something when I think it is bullshit too. You will get he whole banana here so be ware..

So - GREAT NEWS! I got a minimum wage job yesterday haha. I have not had that since I was 14 years old ($8.00 Hr.) and started working and you know what I don't give a shit!  It is what I want to do and I am so happy that I have the opportunity to give back to this great Community and help some cool people. I will be working at a wonderful place called Genesis Developmental Services here in Goleta. So I should start next week after I get fingerprinted and livescand. It is working well I will just copy this off the website:

Community Care Facilities: Adult Day Programs

Genesis Developmental Services operates four Adult Day Programs serving a combined capacity of 160 individuals. These day services provide active treatment to persons with developmental disabilities in order to enhance their quality of life and provide an opportunity to reach their full potential. All programs are committed to provide excellent care for physical, behavioral, and medical challenges.
Our programs focus on activities of daily living skills, behavior modification, ambulatory and non-ambulatory programming, alternative communication, assistive technology, adaptive equipment, volunteer and social work, and exceptional medical and nursing care to include  physical therapy.

I said that I would give some tips to anyone that is going through this or about to. I started this journey because of the help of my cool AA sponsor that has been with me for 15 years John, I have two great sponsors, this one (John) works for the County helping the homeless so when I was in trouble and the EDD put a hold on my unemployment benefits I called John and said HELP! He pointed me in the direction and I took it form there. It is my mission to investigate every possible source of help for people in need here in this area.

So, if you have a van like me to live in you will want to contact the "Safe Parking Program" Her name is Nancy (Very cool chick).  805-284-3463. Tell her your situation and you may get some car insurance help - She was so great to pay a few months of car insurance so that I could park in these assigned "Safe Parking" lots. This way you don;t have the added stress of worrying about the cops coming and hastling you in the middle of the night. I can't tell you what a relief it was to have car insurance and to have a place to sleep that was fairly safe and that was "legal". If you don't have a car to live in and you are a single male like me then you will want to go to 3 places here locally.

1. Casa Esperanza Homeless Center 805-884-8481
2. Salvation Army 
4849 Hollister Avenue
Goleta, CA 93111-2842
(805) 964-8738
3. The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission 805-966-1316

If you are a single Mom with kids you can contact:  Emilia or Dee at Transition House 805-966-9668

If you need some eye glasses cuz this is so important and something again you don't want to worry about. I went to a wonderful organization here in Goleta called SEE
They will give you a voucher for free eye glasses if you provide the script. Great Organization and I was and will again someday continue to give to this organization. Very cool... The address for Goleta is:  7200 Hollister Avenue, Unit A  Goleta, CA 93117-2807  Phone: (805) 963-3303 Fax: (805) 965-3564  www.seeintl.org

Catholic Charities here in Santa Barbara is a WONDERFUL RESOURCE for all kinds of help people don't really ordinarily no about. You can a weekly food pass. You can get your rent paid for a couple months if you meet some simple requirements, etc... Check them out first all you have to do is go in and ask to talk to one of the great counselors there. They are located here:
609 East Haley Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93103-3109
(805) 965-7045

During these difficult economic times, the Santa Barbara Region of Catholic Charities is committed to helping those who are struggling. With the support of dedicated community members and volunteers, the Region has developed a wide range of services that cater to families and individuals in need.
Since 1924, the Region has raised funds to directly support the mission of preventing homelessness and advancing self-sufficiency. Catholic Charities is the only organization in Santa Barbara CountyFEMA and HPRP grants. This year, while the Region is operating on a significantly reduced budget, services will still be delivered to at least 42,000 unduplicated persons.
The Region’s well known Thrifty Shopper stores in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria represent a community effort to help. Donations from the public provide clients with free clothing and household goods while revenue from sales help support the agency’s programs and services.
As the largest non-profit distributor of food in Santa Barbara County, Catholic Charities delivered over 1.9 million pounds of food during 2008.

I actually started here with a nice gal called Darleen 805-252-4074 from the Homeless prevention and rapid re-housing program (hud). She sent me to the Catholic Charity and I got some really needed help. They paid my rent in December and all i had to do is meet with someone for 1/2 hour and fill out a one page form. Very cool program that no one knows about I guess Santa Barbara has a 2.1 Million Dollar Obama Stimulus plan amount of money in reserve and they need to give it away so go get it. 

If you are unemployment like I was you can see a really great gal at the local EDD Office named Zeida Cell:  884-8003 - 568-1393 Front office of EDD 128 East Ortega Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101-1631 You can go here and get a card and they let you use the computer for fre for like 2-4 hours a day. Good resource for going back to school and different Government grants people don;t know about that they can take advantage of while they are going through finding another job. She will shoot it straight.

 If you need health care good luck haha. You have to go to:

Walk in Clinic Tue. Morning Urgent Care 345 camino del Renedio County Clinic 345 Camino Del Remedio
Santa Barbara, CA 93110-1332
(805) 737-6450

They suck and are very rude but oh well it is free go for it I am. Oh get there 15 minutes early or they will send you home.

If you need food stamps and don;t want to go to Catholic Charities you can go to this websitehttp://www.countyofsb.org/social_services/default_rt.aspx?id=15068&id2=15480 for a lot of great information and even some City Jobs listed.

Food Assistance

We help people get enough to eat
Food Stamps is a supplemental program that helps low-income people buy the food they need in order to maintain adequate nutritional levels. The Food Stamp program is funded by the Department of Agriculture and is administered by our department. Benefits are provided on an electronic card that is used like an ATM card and accepted at most grocery stores including the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market.
Through nutrition education partners, the Food Stamp program helps clients learn to make healthy eating and active lifestyle choices. These partners are; Women, Infant & Children (WIC) a nutrition program administered by the Public Health Department which helps many new mothers, the Meals on Wheels program administered by the Community Action Commission which helps many seniors, and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County which provides nutritional classes, food assistance, and Food Stamp outreach.

More resources to come on I hope a daily or every other day basis...

***Please tweet the shit out of this and spread it through Facebook etc... If you want to be cool and help some people!
Thanks, TooTall


Janie said…
hey Too Tall,

i loved reading your blog, very brave, very scary, very touching and i am honored to be on you list of contacts. You are really, in a difficult time for you, being a stand for other (a vry tall stand) you are a gift. thank you. Janie
Anonymous said…
Hi Matt: I would like to give you back that dragon urn to sell. It is beautiful, and could help you. I appreciate the gesture as a birthday gift. I wish you well. I can give it to Jose' to give to you on a Saturday night... if he is there. I hope things look up for you. I am glad you got that job!!!
MeekoDev said…
Love reading your blog. Looking forward to hearing how your baby adjusts to the van door. @MeekoDev aka Michael D.