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Governor Newsom awards Santa Barbara County $8M to address vehicle homeless encampments

Apr 25, 2024. Santa Barbara County is receiving $8 million from the state to help people who are living in their cars find permanent housing. “I had purchased a box truck, moved all my stuff into it and decided that’s where I was gonna live — in a truck,” said Santa Barbara resident Salli Hershberger. Hershberger began using New Beginnings’ safe parking program, which she says ultimately helped her get out of the truck and into housing. 
Read more at ksby.com.

Safe Parking Program

New Beginnings to Implement Award to House People Now Living in Vehicle Encampments

Apr 23, 2024. An $8 million grant to resolve 18 vehicle encampments in the county and city of Santa Barbara have been awarded to the cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria/Summerland, Isla Vista, Lompoc, and Santa Maria, and three vehicle encampments in unincorporated county locations. New Beginnings, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing housing insecurity and mental wellness, was named the nonprofit partner for implementation of the award, which is one of the state’s Encampment Resolution Fund (ERF) grants recently announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Read more at noozhawk.com.

War Words

Funny, Strange, Heroic, and Heartbreaking Stories of Veterans Take the Stage for the Santa Barbara Nonprofit New Beginnings’ Annual Fundraiser

October 23, 2023.New Beginnings Counseling Center (NBCC) is a community nonprofit that has been delivering aid to local unhoused people and solutions for eliminating homelessness in Santa Barbara County for more than half a century. NBCC offers affordable community counseling for low-income and unhoused individuals, and, through their Safe Parking Shelter program, provides safe overnight parking for people living in their cars.
 Read more at independent.com.

Congressman Carbajal speaking with speakers Kristine Schwarz, Das Williams, and Gregg Hart

Art, Activism, and Every Brilliant Thing: Groundbreaking One-Man Show Brings Entertaining, Compassionate Focus to Mental Health Issues

September 8, 2022. Technically, the British play Every Brilliant Thing is a one-man show, an acclaimed tour de force achievement by British comedian Jonny Donahoe, who inspires tears and laughter over the course of 75 minutes of inventive theater. But when the play lands in Santa Barbara’s Center Stage Theater (Sept. 23-25), audiences will quickly learn that the literal one-man show description is at least marginally incomplete.
 Read more at independent.com.

Congressman Carbajal speaking with speakers Kristine Schwarz, Das Williams, and Gregg Hart

British comedian Jonny Donahoe to perform the one-man show ‘Every Brilliant Thing’: A list of what makes life worthwhile

September 8, 2022. Concerned about his suicidal mother, a British boy creates a list for her of things that make life worthwhile. That’s the premise behind “Every Brilliant Thing,” a drama/comedy performed by British comedian and actor Jonny Donahoe.
Read more at newspress.com.

Congressman Carbajal speaking with speakers Kristine Schwarz, Das Williams, and Gregg Hart

Bipartisan Federal Legislation Introduced into Congress

May 4, 2021.  Rep. Congressman Carbajal held a press conference to introduce the Naomi Schwarz Safe Parking Program Act. The Hon. Susan Rose, a former County Supervisor who initiated the program, as well as Kristine Schwarz, our Executive Director, Julie Bowles, one of our clients, and current County Supervisors Das Williams and Gregg Hart spoke about the success of the program and enthusiasm for the bill . Read more at KEYT.com, independent.com, and newspress.com.

The Independent: Santa Barbara’s Safe Parking Program Expansion

March 10, 2021.  This article includes the story of one of our Safe Parking clients named Mike who is a senior. In addition, the article discusses how the program has expanded as vehicular homelessness has grown throughout the county. As of 2021, over 600 people countywide live in vehicles. Read more at independent.com.

KEYT: Lompoc to Start Safe Parking Program

February 17, 2021.  Reporters from KEYT interviewed our Safe Parking Program Manager, Cassie Roach, to learn more about the Safe Parking Program’s expansion into Lompoc. New Beginnings will be opening its first parking lot in Lompoc this spring. The article also discusses how a significant number of people living in their vehicles in Santa Barbara County reside in Lompoc. Read more at keyt.com.

Montecito Journal: Counseling Center Addresses Needs During COVID-19

January 28, 2021.  The Montecito Journal published an article highlighting the work of our agency during the pandemic.  The article focused on our counseling center and how we were equipped at the onset of COVID-19 to begin offering telemental health services to our clients. Today, our telemental health services are offered throughout the county as well, helping people who live in geographically isolated regions connect to our services. Read more at montecitojournal.net.

Noozhawk: Safe Parking Program Could Expand to Lompoc

January 27, 2021.  Noozhawk covered New Beginnings and their effort to expand the Safe Parking Program in Lompoc. In early 2020, our Executive Director Kristine Schwarz delivered a presentation to Lompoc City Council to discuss the program and support Lompoc’s decision to implement a Safe Parking Ordinance. In addition to expanding the program into Lompoc, New Beginnings hopes to develop a program in Santa Maria and in other unincorporated areas in the northern part of the county. Read more at noozhawk.com.

Santa Barbara News-Press: Making the Holidays a Bit Brighter

January 3, 2021.  The Santa Barbara News-Press covered a partnership between New Beginnings, Banana Republic, and Gap. During the holiday season, employees from Banana Republic and Gap, as well as several other stores, purchased holiday gifts for three families and four formerly homeless veteran clients of New Beginnings. The Adopt-a-Family charitable initiative was a highlight of the year for staff and clients and helped to ensure that families and veterans had joyous holiday seasons. Read our listing.

Montecito Journal: The Giving List

December 1, 2020.  The Montecito Journal published the first-ever “The Giving List”, highlighting in narrative form 52 nonprofits in Santa Barbara County. The Giving List was distributed to over 15,000 households throughout the greater Santa Barbara region to help encourage fundraising. New Beginnings was fortunate enough to be one of the organizations featured. Read our listing

Noozhawk: New Beginnings Drives the Safe Parking Effort

December 6, 2020. This article tells the story about our Safe Parking Program, told from the point of view of Cassie Roach, our Program Manager. Notably, the article discusses how New Beginnings provides case management to connect clients to permanent housing and other resources. Read more at noozhawk.com

Noozhawk: Helping Veterans and Their Families Find New Beginnings

November 29, 2020. This article focuses on New Beginnings’ efforts to rehouse homeless veterans and their families throughout Santa Barbara County. U.S. Marine Veteran and Program Manager Victor Virgen talks about the program in greater detail and describes how the program has served veterans during the pandemic. Read more at noozhawk.com

Noozhawk: New Beginnings Expands to Meet Community Needs

November 15, 2020. This article tells the story about how our Counseling Center has evolved over the years to meet the needs of the community. The article discusses how our new telehealth platform has enabled our agency to serve community members throughout the county. It includes interviews from Clinical Director, Crystal Ramirez, and Executive Director, Kristine Schwarz. Read more at noozhawk.com

Santa Maria Sun: Forge Your Path to a New Beginnings

November 8, 2020. To support the expansion of New Beginnings’ programs into North County, the Santa Maria Sun published this four-page spread, featuring overviews of our four programs, as well as ways for community members to support our work.  Read more here.

Santa Barbara News-Press: New Beginnings Receives Grant from DVNF

November 8, 2020. New Beginnings was honored to receive a grant of $16,000 from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation to provide financial assistance to veterans experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of becoming homeless. The grant will assist New Beginnings in housing more veterans and improving programmatic outcomes. Our Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program is the leading program in the county that ends or prevents homelessness for veterans. Read more here.

Noozhawk: Our Annual Fundraiser at the Drive-In

October 24, 2020. This article provides coverage for our Annual Fundraiser at the West Wind Drive-In, where we showed the comedy-drama film The Fisher King, starring Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, and Mercedes Ruehl. We were grateful that we were able to hold a safe in-person fundraiser tin 2020 and hope you enjoy learning more about the event. Read more at noozhawk.com

The Independent: Santa Barbara County’s Network of Nutrition

May 7, 2020. Two months into the pandemic, New Beginnings and SB ACT helped to initiate a collaboration to address food insecurity for community members experiencing homelessness. This was one way that we were able to address food insecurity for our clients, and the collaboration was such a success that this article made the front page of The Independent. Read more at independent.com

Photo: The Independent

KEYT: Addressing Food Insecurity during the Pandemic

April 15, 2020. During the first several months of the pandemic, we noticed food insecurity to be a major issue facing our clients. For four months, we set up a bi-weekly food distribution and also delivered food to seniors and medically vulnerable clients. Fortunately, KEYT provided us with coverage for our efforts! Photo Credit: Beth Farnsworth. Read more at keyt.com

Photo: KEYT

Noozhawk: Safe Parking Program Expands to North County

March, 29, 2020. This article was published this article shortly after the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors approved a $280,000 expenditure for our agency to expand the Safe Parking Program into North County. This expansion represents a major milestone for the Safe Parking Program and will help connect people living in their cars in other areas of the county to our services. Read more at noozhawk.com

Edhat: Community Decorates Johnson Court

February 10, 2020. In early 2020, the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara opened a new housing development called Johnson Court, which is the first all-veteran housing development in Santa Barbara. New Beginnings was selected to provide supportive services to the 16 formerly homeless veterans living at Johnson Court. Edhat was kind enough to publish an article about the community coming together to decorate the housing development. Photo Credit: Edhat. Read more at edhat.com

The Independent: New Beginnings Produces the Play Food and Shelter

October 30, 2019. We held our annual fundraiser at the New Vic on November 1, 2020 and produced a play called Food and Shelter, written by Emmy award winner Jane Anderson. Prior to the performance, The Independent interviewed Jane Anderson to find out what motivated her to write the play. Jane attended our fundraiser and is featured in the picture to the left. Read more at independent.com

Montecito Journal: Annual Fundraiser and 510c3 Weekly

November 25, 2020.  The Montecito Journal provided coverage for our annual fundraiser at the New Vic, where we produced a play about homelessness called Food and Shelter. At the same time, the Montecito Journal published an article covering our programs in greater detail as part of their nonprofit column. Read more here

News-Press: New Beginnings Recognizes Veteran as Landlord of the Year

In 2019, New Beginnings honored former veteran client Steve Baird as Landlord of the Year. Steve was housed by New Beginnings several years and now manages a property in Santa Maria that has housed dozens of our veteran clients. Steve is grateful to New Beginnings for empowering him to serve his fellow veterans. Read more here

Montecito Journal: Celebrating 50 Years of Service with Harrison Ford

In 2018, New Beginnings was fortunate enough to celebrate 50 years of service with the legendary actor Harrison Ford! The intimate donor gathering took place at the Santa Barbara Airport. It was an incredibly special and unique event that allowed New Beginnings to recognize major supporters. Read more here

Noozhawk: New Beginnings Receives Outstanding Community Partner Award

February 10, 2015. New Beginnings was honored to receive the 2014 Outstanding Community Partner Award by the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara (HACSB). New Beginnings was the supportive services specialist at HACSB for nearly eight years and concluded the contract in 2018. Currently, New Beginnings supports HACSB by serving as the supportive services specialist at Johnson Court, the first all veteran housing development in Santa Barbara. Read more at noozhawk.com

KEYT: Family of Three Living in Their Vehicle

November 5, 2013. This article tells the story of a mother named Paula who lives in her vehicle with her two daughters in one of our Safe Parking Program lots. The family expressed their gratitude for being able to park safely each night, allowing them to stabilize and focus on finding permanent housing. Photo Credit: KEYT. Read more at keyt.com