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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Carpinteria Camper Park


M-4 met for lunch at a camper park today. In anticipation of this summer's project of purchasing and filling 900 back-packs for kids from Kindergarten through High School, we met at one of the properties run by Peoples' Self-Help Housing (PSHH). The park is typical; on a frontage road to the highway, next to a convenience/liquor store, bordered by a drainage ditch and fields. The trailer above houses four to six people in a family. There are 69 individual trailers in the park, not like the nice mobile homes we see retirees and young families live in, but these are vacation trailers, not meant for long-term, heavy use. Some trailers had up to eight people living in them. PSHH manages the property and is slowly converting the trailers into affordable apartments. What's affordable in Santa Barbara? Renting a PSHH trailer costs about $450 per/month. Tonight I paid my gasoline credit car bill of $351 for a month of California gas! PSHH provides all residents with clean showers and laundry facilities. They brought in an education unit (like a construction trailer) for after-school tutoring. Betty, the Mexican-American manager, short and stout with a big laugh told me it's like one big family. No drugs or gangs are allowed. If they try to come in she kicks them right out right now!
One description of life in Santa Barbara is "High-high and Low-low". Within a few miles of each other is a $450 per/month trailer and the palatial home of Tye Warner, the most expensive home per square foot in the US (it's not done yet). And between them both is the church. What a great place to live!

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