Developing Community Solutions for the Benefit of All
The purpose of the Santa Barbara Eastside Society is to address, educate, coordinate, and implement community solutions that improve the quality of life on the Eastside and increase the well-being and health of our diverse community members.
Life in the Time of Covid 19
An Editorial by Eastside Society President Tino De Guevara
August 8, 2020
Is there life during the Pandemic? If you look around Santa Barbara, people are still out there enjoying the sunshine, the beach and the restaurants. The only difference is that you have to look like the Lone Ranger and wear a mask, but it’s not such a bad thing when you consider the alternative. Businesses on the Eastside are making the best of things, for example, following the new regulations and adapting to new changes; yet, despite the harsh realities of the situation, there are substantial changes happening on the Eastside.
Around Milpas Street restaurant owners are creating new venues: tables and chairs outside on the sidewalks, seating areas being constructed on the street, new hours of operation, and unique take-out menus. While we can’t exactly congregate, it doesn’t stop people for waiting in line for some tasty tacos or to patronize their favorite store. Recently, I was given a website that advises businesses about serving food on the sidewalk. Go to www.santabarbaraca.gov/businesses/covid and receive some free advice on how to expand your outdoor business. There are other concerns on the Eastside that deserve attention.
Currently, the Eastside Regional Planning group is working with City Net to offer behavioral wellness programs including counseling, placement at shelters and housing to families and homeless individuals. Speaking of housing, the City of SB will be receiving a grant of $450,000 from the State of California know as Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PHLA), dedicated to addressing homeless services. It is anticipated the grant will be allocated to behavioral wellness programs sometime in October or November. These funds will increase outreach services throughout the city to reduce homelessness. This is a good thing because the best way to reduce homelessness is to have a home one can call their own.
In addition, our District 1 representative, Alejandra Gutierrez, is forming a new business association on the Eastside. The purpose of this group is to create a new business district like the one on State Street. The concept is in its early stages, so stand by for new updates. Finally, the drug dealing and local bike “chop shop” situation occurring at Eastside Park is being addressed. Last week a meeting was held between city officials and local citizens to discourage illegal transactions and overnight parking on South Soledad Street. The Santa Barbara Police Department, County Prosecutor, City Parks and Recreation and other departments were on hand to assess the area and see firsthand how to correct the current situation. This has been an ongoing problem and seems to shift from park to park. The group is working on a long term solution.
Despite Covid 19, and the high rate of unemployment, much is being done to improve life on the Eastside. If you haven’t done so already, take a stroll down Milpas Street and support your local businesses. It’s a great way to kick the Covid blues, so let’s keep our distance, wash our hands, wear a mask, and “Hi-Oh, Silver” this pandemic out of here.
Tino De Guevara, President,
Santa Barbara Eastside Society
The views expressed in President's Corner are the personal opinions of the Santa Barbara Eastside Society President . They do not represent the official policy or views of the Santa Barbara Eastside Society.
"The Santa Barbara Eastside Society is dedicated to the proposition that community comes first. We hope you become a Member and support 'Community First' by joining the Santa Barbara Eastside Society."
- Tino A. De Guevara, President, Santa Barbara Eastside Society