Wednesday, September 26 , 2018, 7:59 am | Fog/Mist 60º

 
 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: Jeff Shaffer Deserves Praise for Serving Santa Barbara

I am writing about someone I admire very much. A man who left a safe, comfortable church environment to serve the poor, needy and destitute on the streets with an open heart and bowls of terrible spaghetti (even the hungry street people said it was awful!) He served meals and listened to stories at Alameda Park and then Pershing Park and thank heavens faith communities came along side to do the cooking! Stories got told, many lives changed, but more importantly than anything is street friends were listened to and loved and they did not die alone. 

Jeff Shaffer brought the compassionate faith community with him into the streets to cook, serve and love on street friends in a safe way. He sent street people home for funerals and deathbeds of loved ones, paid for gas needed to move to the next place. He fed dogs and even adopted one that his family has loved for years. He performed marriages, prevented divorces and blessed many new babies celebrating their lives.

Many of us came to serve alongside Jeff. Although I had done blanket drives and coat drives in the late 80’s and served at the Rescue Mission, Jeff opened new ways to serve. When Dr. Mimi Doohan, serving medically in the parks, shared about a new program she heard about to house multitudes of homeless friends in a nation-wide effort, Jeff jumped into the arena to work towards those efforts called 100k homes, then Common Ground, and now morphed into C3h.

Jeff set aside all he was doing placing wonderful volunteers and missionaries in place so he could focus on 100k efforts. It was a huge endeavor of grassroots efforts and the largest campaign of volunteers ever held in Santa Barbara County. All of us jumped onboard to be a part of the housing first model.

Jeff continued to serve in public with city officials, housing authorities, the media, and a multitude of volunteers. He brought in all colleges and youth to serve. His humor and ability to draw folks to him and his efforts paid off. Jeff was Common Ground. He had his hand on the pulse and the issues that no one else does because he was in the “trenches” with the people, not in an office. 

If there is anyone who deserves to be acknowledged in the arena of aiding street friends of Santa Barbara, I think it should be Jeff and he should be awarded for his amazing efforts. But knowing Jeff, he will wait for his blessings at the pearly gates. So I will thank you Jeff Shaffer for setting a fine example, always with a sense of humor and acceptance of the human nature of the people who serve, and the people who need service. All have been affected by your kind efforts and dedication. Bravo for a job well done!

Deborah Barnes
Santa Barbara

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 using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, 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
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

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.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • 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 >