Rob Fredericks, secretary of 2nd Story Associates, deputy excutive director and chief administrative officer of HACSB; Randy Weiss, corporate social responsibility officer, Union Bank; and Skip Szymanski, president of 2nd Story Associates, deputy executive director and chief operating officer of HACSB. (HACSB photo)

While the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara (HACSB) provides innovative housing and services in the community, its nonprofit affiliate, 2nd Story Associates, helps fill gaps to help local families succeed.

Thanks to a generous donation from the local branch of Union Bank, the Housing Authority and 2nd Story Associates will host their third “Tools for School” event next month, providing approximately 300 school-age children with backpacks and supplies to help prepare them for success in the coming school year.

For each participating family, children ages 5-17 will choose from a range of age-appropriate backpacks filled with school supplies.

“Tools for School” is part of 2nd Story and the Housing Authority’s new Growth, Readiness and Development (GRAD) initiative, which aims to encourage academic success and high school graduation among low-income youth through a variety of collaborations and programming. 

While the event is designed to assist families in preparing their children for school, it will also help families discover the Housing Authority’s youth-enrichment programs and other local programs and resources for youth and families.

The public is also invited to make donations to support the “Tools for School” campaign, which will help to fund educational materials and supplies, such as upgraded computers for Housing Authority’s after-school centers. 

Donations can be made securely online at

Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing the Housing Authority and 2nd Story Associates.