People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH) has received $7,500 from the Towbes Foundation to benefit PSHH’s education program Camino Scholars. The funds will expand the behavioral health initiatives currently offered in Camino Scholars, which is designed to address the mental health challenges among students on the Central Coast.

The project will focus on equipping students from low-income and underserved households in Santa Barbara County with healthy strategies for social re-integration and coping with pandemic stress and burnout.

Funds will provide professional development for onsite staff in the areas of mental health and trauma-informed care in education. The program will offer resources to augment existing curriculum with counseling strategies, mindfulness frameworks, restorative justice, and creative therapy modalities, such as music education, and outdoor education.

“We thank the Towbes Foundation and their commitment to serving local students,” said Joanna Dominguez, director of education. “With this visionary gift, our Camino Scholars program will continue to provide students of all ages with the tools and resources to not only reach higher education, but to thrive in it.”

Camino Scholars serves some 400 students annually at its 11 onsite learning centers. As evidenced by standardized test scores, the curriculum significantly improves math and literacy skills and accompanies students on the path of lifelong learning.

The program also helps prepare college-bound students with application assistance, financial aid navigation, career exploration workshops, university campus visits, and mentorship. 

To learn more about People’s Self-Help Housing, visit