The Santa Barbara Foundation awarded $800,000 to support 18 nonprofit organizations providing safety-net services to vulnerable populations in Santa Barbara County.
The grants, the majority for $50,000, were awarded to organizations that are operating effective programs and demonstrating an increased or sustained demand for basic need services including food, shelter, healthcare or behavioral health.
“Communities throughout the county are challenged every day to meet food, shelter and healthcare needs,” said Ron Gallo, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation. “As spiking demand threatens to stretch the vital services provided by nonprofits beyond their capacity, the foundation has made bolstering their capabilities one of its highest priorities.”
Thirty-seven proposals were submitted by organizations countywide with funding needs totaling just over $1.6 million. The foundation assembled a committee of community leaders and experts to determine how best to support these nonprofits in addressing the growing demand for basic need services.
“The foundation brought together an incredibly talented group of community leaders, with expertise spanning the spectrum of safety-net services, to review each applicant’s approach to helping people,” explained Michael Young, Santa Barbara Foundation trustee and chair of the Core Support for Basic Needs Committee. “Vulnerable people all over the county will experience a massive lift from the innovative solutions applied by the awarded nonprofits.”
Grant funds are unrestricted and can be used for operating expenses and/or costs related to sustaining or expanding service delivery. The committee recognized the increased need for behavioral health care as a particularly prominent theme among the applicants.
“The process was enlightening as it allowed us an even deeper understanding of the challenges we are facing in Santa Barbara County and of the work being done to meet those basic needs,” said Rachael Steidl, founder of ParentClick. “Our community is fortunate to have staff, volunteers and board members in each of these organizations who have such passion and a willingness to commit their time and talents to fulfilling these needs.”
Working on the committee alongside Young and Steidl were Deborah Adam (Innovative Produce, Santa Maria), Diane Adam (Santa Barbara Foundation trustee), Polly Baldwin (Santa Barbara County Public Health Department), Michael Gorodezky (Santa Barbara Mental Health Commission), Maria Larios-Horton (Santa Maria Joint Union High School District), Refugio “Cuco” Rodriguez (Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness) and Steve Warner (Cottage Hospital).
The committee was supported by the guidance and expertise of foundation staff including Phylene Wiggins, senior director of community investments; Amy Schneider, director of grantmaking and nonprofit excellence; and Guille Gil-Reynoso, community investment officer.
2016 Core Support for Basic Needs Grant Recipients
» Carrillo Counseling Services, Inc.: $50,000
» Channel Islands YMCA (Youth and Family Services): $35,000
» Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM): $50,000
» Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse: $35,000
» Cuyama Valley Family Resource Center: $16,82
» Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara County: $50,000
» Foodbank of Santa Barbara County: $50,000
» Good Samaritan Shelter: $50,000
» Mental Wellness Center: $50,000
» Peoples’ Self-Help Housing: $50,000
» Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics: $50,000
» Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center: $45,000
» Santa Barbara Rescue Mission: $50,000
» Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People: $50,000
» St. Vincent’s Institute: $20,000
» The Salvation Army (Santa Barbara County): $50,000
» Transition House: $50,000
» Transitions-Mental Health Association: $50,000
— Barbara Andersen is the chief strategy officer at Santa Barbara Foundation.