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New Downtown Santa Barbara center opens to support homeless community

FARO Center opens in Downtown Santa Barbara.
Courtesy of the City of Santa Barbara.
The FARO Center opened in Downtown Santa Barbara.

The City of Santa Barbara is addressing the increase in homelessness countywide by opening a new support center in the downtown area.

The initiative is in partnership with the Santa Barbara Alliance for Community Transformation. The FARO Center offers housing assistance, job support, and mental health services.

Named “Faro,” which means lighthouse in Spanish, the center aims to be a beacon of hope for Santa Barbara’s homeless community.

Senior Assistant to the City Administrator Barbara Anderson said the center is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“To have a location that has consistent times days of the week and that people know will always be open and available to them is huge for us, and we have not had that level of consistency in a while,” Anderson said.

Service providers at the center, including government agencies and nonprofits, will help people transition to permanent housing.

“We’re making that process as accessible and as efficient as we can possibly make it for people who are going through the hardest time in their lives,” Anderson said.

The center is funded by the city. The latest Point-in-Time data from April shows a 12% rise in homelessness in the area since 2023.

KCBX Reporter Amanda Wernik graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Journalism. Amanda is currently a fellow with the USC Center for Health Journalism, completing a data fellowship that will result in a news feature series to air on KCBX in the winter of 2024.
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