Giving Tuesday, celebrated annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, is a global movement that encourages people to give back to their communities by supporting charitable causes and organizations.
Donations to nonprofits are vital for the sustainability and effectiveness of organizations dedicated to serving the public good. Join Noozhawk on this international day of giving, which takes place on November 28th, 2023 and donate to one of the local nonprofits listed in our Giving Guide!
Our Good for Santa Barbara Nonprofit Section provides all the resources you need to donate this holiday season!
In this interview, Noozhawk spoke with Trisha Davis, Director of Marketing at PATH Santa Barbara to learn more about how the nonprofit is dedicated to helping individuals, families, and communities move into safe, stable, long-term housing.
PATH Santa Barbara
Question: What is the name and mission of your nonprofit?
Answer: Our mission is to end homelessness for individuals, families, and communities. PATH provides supportive services including case management, street outreach, interim housing, housing navigation, and connections to permanent supportive housing.
Q: How long has your nonprofit been in service, and who are its founders?
A: We have proudly been a part of the Santa Barbara community since 2015 and work to rebuild lives and strengthen neighborhoods every day.
PATH Santa Barbara operates a 100-bed interim housing site and provides case management, employment assistance, and outreach. Through our rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing programs, we help people move into safe, stable, long-term housing.
Q: What was the inspiration behind your nonprofit?
A: PATH was started by a concerned group of neighbors led by Claire and Rev. Charles Orr, who called for the community to address the ever-increasing issue of homelessness in their community. The group started by distributing food and clothing to people living on the streets.
As homelessness continued to grow nationwide, research revealed that Housing First—a best practice model that first connects people to permanent housing and then focuses on stabilization through voluntary supportive services, proved more effective. Now, nearly forty years later, PATH provides services in more than 150 cities in five regions across California, including Santa Barbara and the Central Coast.
Q: How is your nonprofit primarily funded and what are your greatest needs?
A: PATH’s local government contracts fund the majority of our services, but they do not fund the entirety of what it costs us to provide comprehensive services. Our kitchen operation provides 300 meals per day and is currently not covered by our contracts, so we rely on generous supporters to help us fill this gap.
We also need generous support to fund more housing services, renovations and updates. To fully support our operations, we focus on building support from individual donors, corporate groups, community groups, and our incredible network of volunteers. We raise funds through direct mail twice a year – holiday time and spring, and our June Event Toast to Home, as well as ongoing major gift and corporate solicitation throughout the year.
Q: What types of fundraisers and/or programs does your nonprofit run?
A: PATH Santa Barbara provides a variety of services for our neighbors experiencing homelessness that include employment, outreach, housing navigation, interim housing, and rapid rehousing. Since 2015, we have helped nearly 2,300 people make it home and last year, we served 500 people.
Q: How do people get involved/volunteer for your nonprofit?
A: There are a number of ways to support PATH by volunteering. Whether you have a few hours to spare or want to commit to a regular schedule, your time is a valuable resource that can change lives. From food distribution and wellness workshops to hygiene kit assembly and helping with community events, there are numerous opportunities to give your time at epath.org/volunteer.
Q: Can you share one or two stories of individuals whose lives have been changed because of your organization?
A: Alice lost her father, who was a huge support system in her life. After his passing, she dealt with depression and found it more challenging to take care of her diabetes.
Unfortunately, she was then hospitalized and given the news that she had to amputate her foot. Alice’s family life wasn’t something she could go back to, so she fell into homelessness, which is where she found PATH.
Thankfully, despite these challenges, she received a prosthetic foot and regularly considers herself blessed. Now that she has her own apartment, she looks forward to decorating and starting her new job at a local grocery store!
Q: Why should donors trust your organization and are there other ways to help outside of donations?
A: PATH has been a leader in homeless services for nearly forty years. We employ best practices, embrace innovation, and fundamentally take a person-centered approach to everything we do.
We serve some of the most vulnerable individuals in our community. Nearly 65% of people served have chronic history of homelessness, physical health, and mental health.
Our low-barrier model provides the most vulnerable people in our community with a short-term housing option to lay their heads. This is not only the right thing to do for our unhoused neighbors but also supports our local businesses to thrive.
PATH is dedicated to the Santa Barbara community, and we are thankful for our robust network of community partners. It will take all of us working together to end homelessness, and you can be a part of the solutions by talking to your inner circle about this crisis, following us on social media, sharing community resources, and spreading the word about the essential work that is happening to help our unhoused neighbors make it home.
Q: Can you tell us one short-term goal AND one long-term goal that your nonprofit has for the next year?
A: PATH is looking for key donors and partners to improve the outdoor spaces to make them more therapeutic and healing spaces. We want to create a rooftop garden as well as improve the downstairs courtyard to add activities that enrich our spaces. In addition to support with landscaping, we are also looking for donations for board games, lawn games, chess, and other activities. If you’re interested in partnering to make these outdoor spaces more welcoming, please contact JV Vallejos SBVolunteers@epath.org.
Our long-term goal is to finish our renovations to make our building a more trauma-informed and safe space. That includes updating appliances such as laundry machines, kitchen appliances, and door locks, as well as improving all the communal spaces to be more welcoming. It is vital that our guests feel a sense of calm as they work towards securing housing and reaching their goals.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about your nonprofit that has not been mentioned above?
A: We recently hired our new regional director, Liz Adams. Liz spent her teen years experiencing the foster care and probation systems and became one of the many young people who exited foster care to become unhoused by the age of 26.
Now, Liz has more than 17 years of experience creating and implementing fund and program development plans and data collection, analysis, and reporting systems to set goals and priorities, assess challenges, and identify solutions to challenges. After 7 years in management in public education, in May 2023, Liz joined the PATH team as Santa Barbara Regional Director.
Click here to learn more about PATH Santa Barbara’s mission to end homelessness for individuals, families, and communities.
Check out Noozhawk’s Guide to Giving for a full list of nonprofits to donate to this giving season.
If you would like to include your nonprofit in our Good for Santa Barbara section and Giving Guide click HERE.