(Santa Barbara New House photo)

Charitable giving at the end of the year aligns with both practical considerations, such as tax planning, and the emotional and reflective nature of the holiday season, making it a significant and impactful time for philanthropy.

Donating to nonprofits in your community is of paramount importance and Noozhawk is teaming up with local nonprofits to encourage you to take part in this international day of giving, which takes place on November 28th, 2023.

Our Good for Santa Barbara Nonprofit Section provides all the resources you need to donate this Giving Tuesday!

In this interview, Noozhawk spoke with Adam Burridge, Executive Director at Santa Barbara New House, to learn more about how the nonprofit is dedicated t0 providing a clean, sober and healthy environment that allows men with alcohol and other drug problems to begin their journey of recovery.

Santa Barbara New House

Question: What is the name and mission of your nonprofit?

Answer: Santa Barbara New House. Our Primary Purpose New House dedicates itself to providing a clean, sober and healthy environment that allows men with alcohol and other drug problems to begin their journey of recovery and to reclaim their dignity, self-esteem, and sense of purpose.

Q: How long has your nonprofit been in service, and who are its founders?

A: In May of 1955, under the direction of Elmo Little – an electrician from Knoxville, Tennessee – the first New House was opened. The original supporters were pledged to keep New House self-supporting and free from government tangles and restrictions. Elmo had told one of the many men he sponsored, William D., that what many alcoholics need in Santa Barbara was “a new house on a new street in a new city for a newfound recovery.”

Q: What was the inspiration behind your nonprofit?

A: The experience of New House Santa Barbara is that successful sobriety is achieved through the support of others in the common goal of recovery. New House is therefore staffed entirely by clients. Regular meetings are offered on-site by community 12-Step groups, and 12-Step sponsorship is required. The brotherhood and friendships that develop in New House are lifelong and are a gift of sober living.

Q: How is your nonprofit primarily funded and what are your greatest needs?

A: Santa Barbara New House, Inc. is a California 501(c) 3 Non-Profit Corporation. New House does not accept funds from government sources and is completely funded by revenue from its clients, private donations, foundation grants, and grateful former clients. All donations are tax-deductible under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Our Federal I.D. Number: 95-2887119 EIN.

(Santa Barbara New House photo)

Q: What types of fundraisers and/or programs does your nonprofit run?

A: Santa Barbara New House’s yearly fundraising event is called (The Heart Of New House). This is a Luncheon to celebrate an outstanding community member who has gone above and beyond to provide services to Santa Barbara New House. In addition, we hold a raffle and ask for donations to help support our scholarship fund.

The Heart of New House is our only formal fundraiser that helps provide scholarships to low-income men who cannot afford their initial client fees. In 2022, we were able to provide $94,501 in scholarships. This event continues to be particularly critical as we have faced financial challenges due to the pandemic and other factors in the past few years. The more funds we can raise at our luncheon, the greater capacity we will have to provide scholarships to all low-income men in recovery in need of sober living services. Our program is a lifeline to men in recovery, especially during these challenging times.

Q: Describe your organizations staffing models and internal operations. Has anything changed since the start of your nonprofit?

A: The experience of Santa Barbara New House is that successful sobriety is achieved through the support of others in the common goal of recovery. New House is therefore staffed entirely by clients. Clients can start by volunteering their time or being of service to the house. Clients can work in the kitchen with the cooks and move their way up the chain to working behind the front desk. Through volunteer positions, New House can show clients who weren’t employable they have the capacity to be responsible, reliable, and trustworthy employees.

Q: What makes your nonprofit different from others?

A: While all clients are required to pay client fees, being unable to pay in advance is rarely a barrier to admission. Scholarships may be available but are contingent on the financial position of the organization at the time. Serious individuals needing some help to get started may be granted a scholarship for short periods while they find work or a source of income. Men who achieve 6 months of successful sobriety are eligible to apply for admission to the Grad House, which offers increased independence, autonomy, and self-sufficiency in preparation for returning to their home or new living space.

Q: What is one best kept secret or fun fact about your nonprofit that not everyone knows?

A: Santa Barbra New House offers a Grad House.

After six months of continuous sobriety, Santa Barbara New House gives clients the option of transitioning to the Grad House. The Grad house offers single-person rooms with the continued accountability of a Sober Living Environment. This helps clients transition seamlessly as they progress back to independent living.

Q: Can you share one or two stories of individuals whose lives have been changed because of your organization?

A: A.V.’s Story,
8 years ago, I was homeless, clenching a cardboard sign, begging for money to feed my heroin addiction. I was a felon with a 10th-grade education, unemployable, and ostracized from my family. At 22 years old, I thought I would be dead within the next 12 months. An acquaintance recommended I move into New House 3. In 2015, I decided I wanted freedom from addiction and a second chance at life and moved into New House, where I lived for two years. New House 3 and the men who worked and lived there provided me with the foundation to live a sober life, something I had dreamed of but never thought was attainable. This highly structured living environment taught me how to live a sober life and connected me to recovery programs and employment, and helped me become a productive, self-respecting honest member of the community. The program at New House helped me reach my full potential. In my time at New House, I maintained my sobriety, reconnected with my family, and graduated from high school at 24 years old.

Today, I have 8 years of continuous sobriety thanks to the program and men at New House. I finished high school as an adult, graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree, and am currently a graduate student at Columbia University working toward a master’s degree in social work. I am currently employed in the Manhattan criminal court system as a court advocate, where I help incarcerated people get into mental health and substance use programs. I have remained in regular contact with New House since I moved out and continue to mentor men in the house. I would not be where I am today if it was for the financial, emotional, and social support New House provided for me as a young adult.

(Santa Barbara New House photo)

D.P.’s Story,
I entered New House 3 in May 2013. I had just been released from Solidad prison after serving a two-year sentence. I was 38 years old and had been in and out of jail and institutions more times than I can count. Drugs and alcohol had completely devastated my life and, as a result, the lives of those who loved me. I was scared, terrified that I would drink and use again. I wanted to stop but didn’t know how. New House 3 was the beginning I needed. I was provided a safe and structured environment full of like-minded men, all trying to stay sober and recover.

I look back at my time at New House 3 as some of the best times of my life. I learned how to laugh, trust, forgive, and (perhaps most importantly) become accountable. Today I am 48 and have been sober since walking into New House 3. I have a job, an apartment, a driver’s license, and a car. I am a productive member of society; I even pay taxes. Lol. But the most important thing I have today is my sobriety and recovery. New House 3 made this possible.

Q: How does the work of your nonprofit get communicated to the public?

A: Word of mouth, we are on Facebook as Santa Barbara New House. Instagram @santabarbaranewhouse. We also utilize local publications.

Click here to support Santa Barbara New House’s mission to provide a clean and sober living community.

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.