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Rags to RockStar: Transportation Company Giving the Homeless a Lift

RockStar Transportation works with local shelters and nonprofits to provide free rides

RockStar Transportation is working with local shelters and nonprofits to give Santa Barbara’s homeless a taste of the rock star lifestyle.

On a nightly basis, RockStar Transportation provides homeless people with rides to and from Cottage Hospital and from the County Jail after discharge.

James Houseman, the owner of RockStar Transportation, had his own experience living on the streets when he first came to Santa Barbara in 2002 and feels this is the least he can do to give back.

“I lived in my car for a few days, but it was early winter and it got so cold at night that I had to seek shelter at the Rescue Mission,” Houseman said. “When there wasn’t room at the shelter, I would sneak into the locker room at SB City College to take showers. ... Eventually I found a job and a room to rent, but I never forgot those cold nights and what it is like for the homeless population.”

The service provides a safe and easy way for the homeless to get to and from the jail, the hospital or a shelter at no cost to them, and in the process experience a little bit of the rock star lifestyle for themselves.

“If it wasn’t for places like the Rescue Mission and Casa Esperanza, I may not be where I’m at today,” Houseman said. “That’s why when we were offered the opportunity to help the homeless shelters and all the transients in and out of County Jail, we jumped at the chance to be a part of the solution.”

Rides are available between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., outside of the running times for MTD buses, and drops-off are available at five local shelters.

— Mike McElhaney is a publicist representing RockStar Transportation.

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