The temperature hovered in the mid-80s, but the spirits of more than 225 attendees were not distracted from the mission to raise funds for much-needed affordable housing and programs that build self-sufficiency in low-income and special-needs residents.
“We are extremely proud of the difference Peoples’ Self-Help Housing has made in the 26 communities we serve in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties,” said Taste of Hope event co-chair and board member Charles Stacy. “For over four decades, we’ve been making it possible for low-income families, seniors and special-needs groups to have an affordable place to live. A stable home life positively affects every other aspect of one’s lives. Low-income households are able to devote more of their income to education, nutritious food and medical care with affordable housing.
“Seeing the happy faces of families moving into their first home, tenants getting the keys to their affordable apartment, and a homeless person moving from the street or a shelter has made this such a rewarding experience for me.”
Longtime local and committee co-chair Yolanda Baptiste stated: “I remember visiting the downtown Victoria Hotel with my father when I was a little girl. He was a businessman and would sometimes drop off checks to men who worked for him who lived there. I am glad that Peoples’ renovated the hotel and that it is getting put to a good purpose in housing the formerly homeless.”
Master chef Michael Hutchings and Bobbie Rubin presided as honorary co-chairs, and the effervescent Kate Schwab served as mistress of ceremonies. Baptiste and the Rev. Chuck Stacy headed up the event committee assisted by committee members Lin Aubuchon, Corky Duncan, Jeanette Duncan, Mary Lou Harms, Carolyn Johnson, Erin Griffin Kossen, Dennis Merenbach Esq., Annette Montoya, Ann Moore, George Primbs, M.D., Rochelle Rose, Monica Scholl and Nadine Turner.
Other helpers included Leah Williams, Nancy Alexander, Juan Galvan, Randy Weiss, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust’s RAVE team, Karol Schulkin, Ray Gateley, Carlos Jimenez, Javier Ortiz, Betty Campero, Olivia Moctezuma, Mireya Rojas, Ann Kramer, Ryan Ebeling, Lisa Bevier-Sakimura, Travis Brashears, Whitney Abbott and Erik Siering.
The Montecito Jazz Project provided quality and toe-tapping background music as guests sampled delightful gourmet bites and refreshments. Junior Spirits of Fiesta Sadee Broida and Jesalyn McCollum performed their award-winning flamenco dancing to the thrill of the crowd.
Thirty wineries, brewers, restaurants and caterers from all over the South Coast shared their samplings, including Alere Wines, Alma Rosa Winery, Artesian Liquid Shi, Clospepe Vineyards, Cottonwood Canyon Winery and Vineyard, Island Brewing Co., Lions Peak Wine, Riverbench Winery, Whitcraft Winery, Ca’ Dario Restaurant, California Pizza Kitchen, Nimita’s, Santa Barbara Chocolate Fountains, Cody’s Café, Jolly Brothers Catering, Marmalade Café, Michael’s Catering, New West Catering, Rincon Beach Club & Catering, Via Maestra 42 and World Cuisine.
New West Catering from the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Barbara’s Ca’ Dario Restaurant won first and second place, respectively, for the Taster’s Choice award voted on by Taste of Hope attendees. The large silent auction took place and brought enthusiastic bidders competing for gift certificates, original artwork, jewelry, hotel stays, wine, restaurant dinners and more.
Sponsors included U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Rabobank, Community Economics Inc., Montecito Bank & Trust, MarBorg Industries, Chase Bank, CSA Architects, Citrix Online, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Community West Bank, Arthur Gallagher Insurance Brokerage, NeighborWorks America, Noozhawk, CASA Magazine and many others.
The mission of Peoples’ Self-Help Housing is to provide affordable housing and programs leading to self-sufficiency for low-income families, seniors and other special-needs groups on California’s Central Coast. During the past 42 years, the nonprofit organization has helped more than 1,150 low-income households own their first home with a sweat-equity investment. PSHH developed and now manages more than 1,350 rental units in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties with more than 4,000 residents.
Peoples’ Self-Help Housing continues to be committed to developing vibrant neighborhoods, building safe, attractive, high-quality housing, and to provide innovative supportive services so that its residents develop greater self-sufficiency and better quality of life. PSHH is the premiere affordable housing and community developer in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.