Our COVID-19 Response Fund

We Met Our Matching Grant Goal of $20,000!

One of our funders, the Kind World Foundation offered to match up to $20,000 in donations that are made to New Beginnings for our COVID-19 Response Fund during this time. In a little over a month, we were able to meet this matching grant due to all the support we have received from our donors!

Please click the link below to donate online to our Response Fund!

Our Staff Were Featured in the News for All Their Hard Work!

Help Us Get Food and Supplies to the Homeless and Other Low-Income Community Members

In an effort to get food and basic necessities to our clients, New Beginnings has created an Amazon Wish List Donation Registry containing food, hygiene products, and other essentials our clients need. To access the wish list donation registry, please click here. Add items from our wish list to your cart, and when you are ready to checkout, you will select “New Beginnings C/O Jackie Kurta Gift Address Registry” for shipping. The items will be delivered to this address and will be distributed to our clients promptly. If you have any questions or need additional assistance, please contact our Development Manager, Michael Berton at mberton@sbnbcc.org or leave a voicemail at (805) 963-7777 x112 and he will respond to you. We have received more than 150 boxes since establishing this wish list!

Please click here to be taken to our Amazon Wish List Donation Registry.

Housing and Shelter Success Stories During This Crisis

  • Our Safe Parking Case Manager, Jordan Thurston, housed a  vulnerable couple with a Section 8 voucher. She had helped them secure a voucher extension earlier in the month and was able to house them as a result.
  • Our Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program Manager, Victor Virgen, housed a veteran and his caretaker who had been living in a vehicle and were at high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their underlying health issues and age. Just yesterday, we purchased two beds as well. We have also housed two additional veterans.
  • Staff members from Safe Parking and SSVF placed close to 10 high-risk veterans and seniors into hotel rooms. We are currently working to transition these clients into permanent housing.

Providing Food and Supplies Twice Per Week to the Homeless

At the beginning of the outbreak, New Beginnings’ staff organized a support gathering for our Safe Parking clients at Earl Warren Showgrounds with the help of city and county staff. Staff prepared food items and hygiene kits that were distributed to our clients and organized an opportunity for our clients to have a place to shower, through a partnership with Showers of Blessing. Hygiene kits were provided by Direct Relief. Some of the food was donated by the United Way. Other food items were obtained from the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and Southcoast Deli through staff and board member support.

Each week, we provide two opportunities for clients to pick up food, supplies, and other essentials. We also are delivering food to veterans and to medically vulnerable and disabled clients.

Staff Member Hold a Hygiene Kit provided by Direct ReliefStaff Member holding items for COVID-19 Response

Fresh salads for our clientsHygiene and Food Kits Boxes for Donations in Group Room

Here Are Other Ways We Are Supporting Clients

We are deeply committed to ensuring a consistent service delivery for our clients, many of whom are homeless, have lost their jobs, or are struggling with mental health issues.  

  • For our Counseling Center, we made HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing telemental health counseling available to our clients.  This was a result of a recent partnership with Zoom Communications, and funded by Cottage Health, that happened to coincide with the COVID-19 outbreak. We have granted all fee reductions associated with job loss. We have also completed the implementation of our Electronic Health Record System. Our Clinical Director, Dr. Crystal Ramirez, has also participated in Antioch’s Central Coast Collaborative to ensure that best practices are maintained for telemental health.
  • For our Safe Parking Program, we have moved our clients to specific lots where they can park during the day and have 24/7 access to bathroom facilities and porta-potties. In addition, we have coordinated a weekly support routine where our clients can come pick up food, bagged lunches, and other essentials and connect to staff members. We are also providing makeshift hand-washing supplies, which have been a huge success, and are delivering food to isolated seniors in our program. Staff are speaking with all clients multiple times per week to give them a stronger sense of support during this challenging time.
  • Our Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program will continue to operate remotely, and we will be housing our veteran clients to the best of our ability. In addition, we are also coordinating food delivery to our veteran clients at Johnson Court, where New Beginnings recently began offering supportive services in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.
  • For our Life Skills Parenting & Education Program, we are working with community partners and hope to start this program up again as soon as possible through our new telehealth capabilities.

The demand for temporary rental assistance for clients that we have housed has skyrocketed, and we are incurring all kinds of additional expenses to support our clients.

To find out more information about how to support our clients during this difficult time, please reach out to Michael Berton at mberton@sbnbcc.org or leave a voicemail at (805) 963-7777 x112. Thank you! We hope you all stay safe and healthy during this time!