Monday, August 20 , 2018, 11:48 pm | A Few Clouds 67º


Turner Foundation Provides Comfortable Living for Low-Income Santa Barbara Families

The Turner Foundation, since 1958, is a virtually unknown nonprofit service organization in Santa Barbara, unless you live in one of its apartment complexes.

“My family and I didn’t have anywhere to go or stay,” tenant Andrew Eberhart said. “We had a three-bedroom voucher from Section 8 at the Housing Authority, but it’s really hard to find Section 8 housing in the first place and finding a three-bedroom is almost impossible. Plus, when you do find a Section 8 apartment available, you often end up with unbelievably low quality. That’s not case at the Village.”

The Village is a 70-unit apartment complex in the heart of the Westside of Santa Barbara. It is owned and operated by The Turner Foundation, a local nonprofit whose mission it is to care for its tenants by providing a safe, comfortable and affordable living environment through making staff, services and programs available to improve the quality of life for those struggling economically, socially and spiritually.

So, what makes the Village apartments so much different than other apartment buildings?

A community center where families can access the Internet, bake cookies, check out books in the 1,200-volume library or send and receive faxes for free. A tutoring program where children can be tutored by certified tutors and participate in programs designed by teachers to improve their grades. A state-of-the-art playground used exclusively by the tenants.

There is also a high level of safety throughout the Village with security cameras and personnel available 24 hours a day, even on weekends. Along with security available to Village tenants there is counseling (both English and Spanish) with licensed therapists, certified babysitters available for parents who need a night out, and staff available during the week to mentor and play with the kids. The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County also supplies the Village with food, and the staff prepares and delivers that to families every other week.

“In the 1950s my grandfather (Rev. Bert Turner) started this nonprofit organization in Riverside, Calif., because he thought help in life should be available to all people — with or without money,” said Todd Wilson, chief operating officer of The Turner Foundation. “Today our focus is on the low-income families in Santa Barbara. People come to us with broken lives and make their surroundings as safe, comfortable and affordable as possible so they can go about the work of fixing whatever it is that is broken.”

Many lives have been touched, indeed, and over the 60 years of service, The Turner Foundation has been supported by many notable individuals as well. Former U.S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have all either visited the various complexes owned by the foundation or been personally tied to its service.

The Rev. Dr. Jon Wilson, executive director of the foundation, explains the company motto as “Inspiring Lives Through Improving the Community.”

“This is what communities should look like — people with broken lives or over overwhelming circumstances being supported by others who have been there,” he said. “It’s not rocket science; it’s what the Bible says to do, so we’re just doing it.”

— Todd Wilson is chief operating officer for The Turner Foundation.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >