People Assisting The Homeless (PATH) Santa Barbara was awarded $50,000 for a new commercial van as part of the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara’s recent grants to 10 local nonprofit agencies. The total of $750,000 in grants came from a record-breaking pool of member donations collected during 2020.

The PATH van is already being used to transfer client belongings, and collect and distribute donated food to agencies that feed people experiencing homelessness.

PATH Santa Barbara operates the former Casa Esperanza Interim Housing site, which provides a variety of services for neighbors experiencing homelessness that include employment, outreach, housing navigation, interim housing, and rapid rehousing.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Women’s Fund, our new van will allow us to provide important peace of mind — and stomach — to the over 500 women and men who come to PATH each year for shelter, support, and a new start,” said Tessa Madden Storms, PATH Santa Barbara regional director.

Every day, PATH teams drive to grocery partners across the city to pick up food donations that play a critical role in keeping clients and residents healthy and fed. This includes $1 million in product from Trader Joe’s each year to help feed the 100 residents living in the interim housing program, as well as many of the people PATH supports in motels and permanent housing.

“This new vehicle came right in time,” said John Bowlin, PATH Santa Barbara associate director of Development & Volunteers. “After 10 years the road and almost 250,000 miles on the odometer, PATH’s previous vehicle was no longer up to the task of providing reliable transportation for staff, clients, and volunteers who use it.”

This is PATH’s third grant from the Women’s Fund–each one generating real, positive change for our programs and the people we serve.

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