The annual “Global Day of Giving” is upon us this holiday season and what better way to give back to your community then joining in on #GivingTuesday by donating to the organizations that make Santa Barbara a place we are proud to call home.
Noozhawk is teaming up with local nonprofits to encourage you to take part in this international day of giving, which takes place on November 29th, 2022.
It is no secret that these past couple of years have been full of challenges and thats why local nonprofits need your support now more than ever. Our Good for Santa Barbara Nonprofit Section provides all the resources you need to donate this holiday season!
In this interview, Noozhawk spoke with Tyler Renner, Director of Media at PATH Santa Barbara, to learn more about how the nonprofit is dedicated to to ending homelessness for individuals, families, and communities.
PATH Santa Barbara
Question: What is the name & mission of your nonprofit?
Answer: Our mission is to end homelessness for individuals, families, and communities. PATH envisions a world where every person has a home. Our values include creative collaborations, strategic leadership, empowerment for all, and passionate commitment.
Q: How long has your nonprofit been in service and whom was it started by?
A: On July 1, 2015, Casa Esperanza Homeless Shelter merged with PATH to become PATH Santa Barbara. We are very happy to be a part of the Santa Barbara community, working to rebuild lives and strengthen neighborhoods.
Q: How is your nonprofit primarily funded and what are your greatest needs?
A: A large portion of funding comes through local and state government contracts. However, they do not fund the entirety of what it costs us to provide comprehensive services, so we rely on generous supporters to help us fill that funding gap.
We also rely on food donations and kitchen volunteers to help provide three nourishing meals each day to our residents. PATH is always in need of blankets, clothing, and making it home kits, which are home essentials for when residents move into a home of their own. Some of our needs are seasonal and we welcome donations of any type and size to help us serve the unique and complex needs of our participants.
Q: In what ways does your nonprofit utilize it’s funding?
A: In Santa Barbara we provide a variety of services for our neighbors experiencing homelessness that include employment, outreach, housing navigation, interim housing, and rapid rehousing.
These comprehensive services support for our participants in interim housing with the long-term goal of connecting people to housing. Our housing navigation teams help people with vouchers find units and continue to support them through case management.
Through Rapid Rehousing and Scattered Permanent Supportive Housing, we’re helping people with high needs make it home. Since 2015, we have helped more than 2,100 people make it home. In 2021, we served over 1,000 people and connected 65 people to housing.
Q: What types of fundraisers and/or programs does your nonprofit run?
A: PATH focuses 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, A Toast to Home, as well as ongoing major gift and corporate solicitation throughout the year.
Q: How do people get involved/volunteer for your nonprofit?
A: We’re always looking for volunteers to help serve daily meals to our residents!
We also welcome volunteers to assist in a variety of roles to help us operate our site. Folks interested in donating their times can visit our website. or contact John “JB” Bowlin, PATH Associate Director of Philanthropy and Community Affairs at JohnB@epath.org.
Q: What makes your nonprofit different from others?
A: The 2022 Point-In-Time count results showed that over 2,000 people in Santa Barbara County are experiencing homelessness, a 4% increase from the number of individuals counted in 2020. We need the support now more than ever to help the most vulnerable in our community.
Homelessness has been increasing for many years, here in Santa Barbara and across the state. Thanks to local, state and federal funding for COVID, we have had more opportunities for interim housing and additional emergency housing vouchers.
We continue to provide services for as many people as we can, but we are limited by our space and funding. With the generous support of the community, we can reach more individuals and end their episode of homelessness.
Q: What is one best kept secret or fun fact about your nonprofit that not everyone knows?
A: We are part of the community and make every effort to ensure our residents are safe and healthy and our site is clean and safe. We conduct regular cleanups with the community and our newly hired outreach team member helps those experiencing homelessness around our site get connected to services.
PATH also adapts to the changing trends in homelessness and because of larger economic challenges, like wage stagnation, rent increases, and inflation we are seeing more people fall into homelessness.
In the first two months on the job, our outreach specialist saw that a vast majority of his clients were new to homelessness. The first dozen people he connected to our services were experiencing homelessness for the first time. You can trust PATH to meet people where they are at and to continuing being a good neighbor.
Q: Can you share one or two stories of individuals whose lives have been changed because of your organization?
A: Alice came to PATH in March of 2021 through Cottage Hospital. Alice had her leg amputated due to her and her family not caring for her diabetes. She was enrolled in our Rapid Rehousing program in July of 2021 and moved into her Apartment in September of 2021. When Alice first arrived at PATH she was confined to a wheelchair. She now has a prosthetic leg and no longer must use a wheelchair. She has returned to her job as a cashier at Vons in April.
Michael came to our Permanent Supporting Housing program from step down housing in February 2021. Michael had been homeless for seven years. Michael was housed one month later- March of 2021. Michael is also enrolled in our employment program. Michael secured a job in November of 2021 with Citynet working in Shelter Operations. In January 2022, he was promoted to housing retention case manager. Michael has also returned to school at Santa Barbara City College to receive his certification as a drug and alcohol counselor.
Q: How does the work of your nonprofit get communicated to the public?
A: Follow PATH on social media—every week we share a “Making it Home” story! We’re also featured in local outlets so keep an eye out for more stories!
Click here to support PATH Santa Barbara’s mission to end homelessness.
Check out Noozhawk’s Guide to Giving for a full list of nonprofits to donate to this giving season.