SANTA BARBARA — People Assisting The Homeless Santa Barbara has been awarded $50,000 to purchase a new commercial van.
The funding was provided from the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara, which recently awarded grants to 10 local nonprofits, totaling $750,000. The new van is already in use, transferring client belongings and collecting and distributing 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”, Tessa Madden Storms, PATH Santa Barbara Regional Director, said in a statement.
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 over $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! After ten years (on) 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,” said John Bowlin, PATH Santa Barbara Associate Director of Development & Volunteers.
— Mitchell White