The New Beginnings’ Safe Parking Program was the recent focus of HBO’s VICE, bringing to light the increasing number of Americans forced to live in their vehicles.

Los Angeles Times - Living out of a car amid lap of luxury

New Beginnings Counseling Center’s Safe Parking Program Featured in
Los Angeles Times 
Article on ‘Living out of a car amid lap of luxury’

Kathy is a senior citizen, Marva is a nurse, Santiago is a chef and Luis is an eighth-grade student.

All of them live in Santa Barbara with one thing in common.

When night falls, they head to designated parking lots and sleep in their vehicles, all clients in the region’s Safe Parking program.

“I was always into December and making the house wonderfully warm and beautiful,” said Kathy, whose holiday celebration is somewhat more austere these days. “I’ve got some little lights on the ceiling of the RV, and I got out my mom’s old snow globe, with a music box on it.”

Kathy is 65 and her longtime companion and RV-mate Phil is 74. Like so many others, they live on the edge in California, where high housing prices have pushed thousands of people to un-imagined extremes.

Living in a vehicle is obviously better than living in a tent or a box — it’s a kind of middle-class homelessness. But in affluent Santa Barbara and elsewhere, the ever-present convoys are another sign of growing income inequality and one of the state’s most vexing problems — even working people can barely afford to live in many parts of California.

The full article entitled “Living out of a car amid lap of luxury,” can be currently found  at alifornia/la-me-lopez-safe-par king-20171224-story.html

New Beginnings Counseling Center’s Safe Parking Program Featured in
Rolling Stone Magazine 
Article on ‘Recession’s Middle Class Casualties’

Rolling Stone Magazine Featured Article about New BeginningsNew Beginnings Counseling Center once again receives national attention for its Safe Parking Program™ which helps middle class families struggling to regain their footing in today’s difficult economy. The program’s unique approach to dealing with homelessness maintains its commitment to helping the homeless find housing and employment.

The Safe Parking Program™, often regarded a model program by international media examining the homelessness crisis, has been featured by NBC Nightly News, NPR, PBS, CNN, People Magazine and the Larry King Show. “Our mission,” says Executive Director Kristine Schwarz “is to provide the support services necessary for all members of our community to thrive. This particular program aims to empower the non-traditional homeless and provide the level of stability they need to make positive change.”

“The individuals and families who are served by the Safe Parking Program™ are not only homeless,” adds Roslyn Scheuerman, one of the program’s two case managers. “They are refugees from the American Dream.” The program, founded in 2004, provides case management and outreach to the homeless population and safe overnight parking to individuals and families living in their vehicles. In 2010-2011, the program served over 800 people. “The Cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta and the County of Santa Barbara have been tremendously supportive of the program since its inception,” said Schwarz. “Without government contracts and grants, the program would be without funding.”

The article entitled “The Recession’s Middle-Class Casualties,” can currently be found  at


New Beginnings Counseling Center and its programs have been featured locally and regionally in print, online and broadcast media and nationally on NBC Nightly News, NPR, PBS, CNN and even the Larry King Show, among others.

Below are links to recent articles.

Please contact our Development and Communications Manager with all press and media inquiries. 805-963-7777 x112

May 2020 – Noozhawk – Local Mental Health Nonprofits Stepping Up to Help with COVID-19-Related Stress

May 2020 – The Independent – Multiagency Pandemic Response Feeds Vulnerable, Saves Chefs, and Protects Food Chain

April 2020 – KEYT – New Beginnings sees spike in food needs among homeless veterans, people living in cars

March 2020 – Noozhawk – Nightly Safe Parking Program Expanding to North County for ‘Vehicular’ Homeless

February 2020, edhat – Community Helps Decorate New Veteran Housing (Johnson Court)

December 2019, CNN- Living in her car, she was afraid and harassed. Then she found an unexpected refuge

May 2019, Department of Veterans Affairs – VA Homeless Veterans Outreach Article Featuring SSVF

January 2019, Santa Barbara Independent – Short-Changing Homeless Programs Spells Doom

April 2018, CARF International – Program repurposes empty parking lots to serve homeless population 

March 2018, Le Monde – Fr- Aux Etats-Unis, des parkings pour Les victimes de la crises du Logement

March 2018, CNN- Helping America’s mobile homeless

March 2018, Mountain View Voice- Safe parking: City looks to Santa Barbara

March 2018, Mountain View Voice- Churches to offer safe parking for RV dwellers

March 2018, Curbed- High Housing Costs and Long Commutes Drive More Workers to Sleep in Cars

March 2018, Noozhawk- Care Bags Donated to Help Homeless Seniors

March 2018, 89.33 KPCC- LA church greenlights overnight parking for some homeless

January 2018, KCLU- How To Cope With Impacts Of Flooding And Fire That Are Hitting South Coast

January 2018, Financial Buzz- Residents Live in Cars Due to Housing Crisis in California

January 2018, Surviving Sacramento- Bay Area Cities are Looking for a Solution for their Increased RV Issue

January 2018, The Western Journal- Amazing Dashcam Video Reveals True Reality of Homelessness in California’s Largest City

January 2018, CNBC- As California’s housing crisis worsens, more residents are forced to sleep in their cars

January 2018, Yahoo! Finance- As California’s housing crisis worsens, more residents forced to sleep in cars

January 2018, The Western Journal- Amazing Dashcam Video Reveals True Reality of  Homelessness in California’s Largest City

December 2017, American Thinker- How the homeless in Los Angeles spent Christmas

December 2017, Marianas Variety- FEATURE: Living in a parking lot amid Santa Barbara’s wealth is a kind of middle-class homelessness

December 2017, UK Daily Mail- Welcome to Skid Row 2017: Shocking scale of homelessness in downtown LA is exposed in footage showing sidewalks lined with dozens of tents in deprived area where 20,000 people live on the streets

December 2017, UK Daily Mail- California’s hidden homeless: Teachers, chefs, nurses and other middle class workers living in cars in parking lots because of the state’s crazy property prices

December 2017, Los Angeles Times-  Living in a parking lot amid Santa Barbara’s wealth is a kind of middle-class homelessness

December 2017, Mercury News- Bay Area cities face growing crisis as RVs become homes of last resort

December 2017, Daily Democrat- California housing crises drives people to live in their RVs

November 2017, KEYT- Veterans recommended for jobs by retired Army Colonel in Santa Barbara

November 2017, NoozHawk – Self-sufficiency Program Grads Celebrate with Community Partners

November 2017, Noozhawk – Carbajal Bill Seeks to Clear Housing Obstacle for Disabled Vets

October 2017, NoozHawk – New Beginnings Honors Glenn and Amy Bacheller as 2017 ‘Community Champions’

September 2017, Edhat Santa Barbara- New Beginnings Counseling Center Will Honor 2017 Community Champions At Changing Lives Gala

September 2017, Independent – City Ordinance Against Oversized Vehicles Takes Effect

August 2017, AARP – Where We Live, Help When a Car is Also a Home

June 2017, Santa Ynez Valley News – County Probation Department receives $975K grant to assist veterans

March 2017, KEYT – Non-Profit Seeks Daytime Parking Spaces for People Living in Oversized Vehicles

March 2017, Noozhawk – Why Basic Items Are Needed Items, Even in Santa Barbara County

March 2017, Independent –  Daytime Parking Sought by Shelter Program

March 2017, Noozhawk – Healthy Turnout at Franklin Center Fitness Fair

March 2017, KEYT – Non-profit seeks daytime parking spaces for people living in oversized vehicles

February 2017, Moyers & Company – Homeless in the Shadows of Santa Barbara’s Mansions

February 2017, Santa Barbara Independent – NonProfit Seeks Property Owners to Share Daytime Parking Lots for Displaced RVs

January 2017, NoozHawk – Project Seeks Better Access to Health Care for MediCal Recipients

January 2017, NoozHawk – Santa Barbara’s New Oversized Vehicle Committee Discusses Enforcement, Daytime RV Parking Options

December 2016, Capital & Main – Safe Parking for Santa Barbara’s Homeless 

December 2016, The Nation – Homeless in the Shadow of Santa Barbara’s Mansions

November 2016, KEYT – Safe Program Extends Helping Hand to Seniors Living in their Cars

October 2016, NoozHawk – New Beginnings Counseling Center Honors ‘Community Champions” Gary and Mary Becker

October 2016, NoozHawk – New Beginnings Counseling Center Celebrates Mission of Changing Lives at Annual Gala

October 2016, Santa Barbara News-Press – Homeless Veteran Out of Luck Even Before RV Ban Corrected

October 2016, Santa Barbara Independent – Santa Barbara Bans RV Parking: Council Adopts Citywide Ban on RV Parking

October 2016, NoozHawk – Santa Barbara Votes to Ban On-Street Parking for Oversized Vehicles Including RVs

October 2016, Montecito Journal – Seen Around Town: New Beginnings Changing Lives Gala

October 2016, Long Beach Post – “Safe Parking” Study Aimed at Vehicle-Dwelling Residents Approved by Long Beach City Council 

September 2016, Santa Barbara Independent – Nothing EZ About Living In an RV

September 2016, NPR – For Some Seniors Without Housing, A Parking Lot Is Home

September 2016, NoozHawk – VetNet Collaboration Helps Local Veterans Access Crucial Resources 

August 2016, California Health Report- Safe Parking Programs Offer a Respite for the Homeless

August 2016, Montecito Journal, – Seen Around Town: New Beginnings Salute to Lois Capps

August 2016, NoozHawk – St. Francis Foundation Awards $940,000 in Grants for Community Health to 18 South Coast Nonprofits

July 2016, NoozHawk – New Beginnings Counseling Center Pays Tribute to Rep. Capps, Photos From the Event

July 2016, NoozHawk – New Beginnings Counseling Center Salutes Congresswoman Lois Capps

July 2016, Santa Barbara Independent – New Beginnings Counseling Center and Lois Capps Salute Each Other

May 2016, Los Angeles Times – A Santa Barbara ‘safe parking’ program for homeless people may be coming to L.A

March 2016, Mountain View Voice – Car-dwelling homeless inspire church copycats

December 2015, Santa Maria Sun – A Home for the Holidays: Santa Barbara County non-profits strive to house homeless veterans

November 2015, Montecito Journal – Seen Around Town: New Beginnings Changing Lives Gala

October 2014, Al Jazeera America – Mobile homes: Many ‘hidden homeless’ Americans living in vehicles

April 2014, National Veterans Foundation – Program Provides Assistance to Veteran Families in Danger of Losing Housing 

November 2012, NoozHawk – Housing Authority Program Helps Local Families Achieve ‘Self-Sufficiency’

September 2012, ABC –  Expensive Cities Allowing People to Sleep in their Cars

May 2012, Santa Barbara Independent – Evicted Low Income Tenants Look for New Homes

April 2012, Goleta Likely to Allow RV Camping

October 2008, AARP Bulletin-Why Are More Older Americans Sleeping in Their Cars

June 2008, The Guardian – Sleeping Rough in Santa Barbara

New Beginnings Counseling Center Receives
Outstanding Community Partner Award
Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara Recognizes Long-Time Partner

Housing Authority Award given to New Beginnings(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara awarded local non-profit New Beginnings Counseling Center with its prestigious 2014 Outstanding Community Partner Award. Robert G. Pearson, Executive Director and CEO of the Housing Authority presented the award to the non-profit’s Board of Directors’ President, Diane Pannkuk and Executive Director, Kristine Schwarz, at the agency’s January board meeting.
“The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara is lucky to have New Beginnings as a partner agency in service to our low income households in the community,” shared Mr. Pearson. “Their counseling programs are outstanding—providing everything from one-on-one counseling to our senior clients in distress to young mothers and fathers who need help in developing their parenting skills. We have worked with New Beginnings for over six years and are continually impressed with the quality of their staff, program and services. They help us be “more than just housing” to low income seniors, disabled persons and families in Santa Barbara.”

New Beginnings staffs the Supportive Services Program for the Housing Authority. The goal of the Supportive Services Program is to improve the quality of life of low-income families and individuals, with an emphasis on promoting independence, well-being, and self-sufficiency. New Beginnings provides more than two thousand case management hours each year through the program working to connect clients to housing, healthcare, counseling, employment services, senior services, and in-home supportive care. More than just bricks and mortar, the program was first designed by the Housing Authority as a rare innovation focused on the success of its residents. New Beginnings also provides housing case management assistance through its Safe Parking and Supportive Services for Veteran Families Programs.

“New Beginnings is honored to be recognized for the agency’s efforts to help the most vulnerable among us to thrive,” says Ms. Schwarz. “I am so proud of the dedication, commitment and work ethic of our staff and of our partners at the Housing Authority.” Feedback from the Housing Authority’s staff who all voted on the award recipient includes, “They do a spectacular job in their field of work. Not only do they help, but they do it with compassion and patience for our clients” and “New Beginnings has been a close partner of the Housing Authority. They also do a lot in the community to help vulnerable populations including veterans and those living in their vehicles. They are an excellent partner and deserving of our recognition.”