Thursday, December 24, 2015

4 of the Best Local Resources for Entrepreneurs in Santa Barbara

tourist picture taking

At the heart of Santa Barbara’s economy are its thriving tourism, education, and technology industries, which bring jobs and financial prosperity to the area. With a culture deeply rooted in environmentally-friendly practices, personal health, and sustainability, the city also fosters the promotion of entrepreneurship and the development of the local business sector.

In order to support the growth of businesses in Santa Barbara, various nonprofit entities focus their efforts on providing business owners with resources that will assist them in securing their economic futures. Listed below are four of the best resources that local businesses and entrepreneurs can use to help them effectively pursue their professional endeavors.

1. Santa Barbara County Workforce Development Board (WDB)

The WDB is a public-private partnership that provides free services to area workers who have been laid off as well as Santa Barbara county businesses that are looking for economic assistance in the form of professional advisement. Additionally, it offers services to struggling professionals in industries that significantly affect the county’s economy, such as agriculture, tourism, and energy.

For individuals, the organization conducts workshops that teach skills such as resume writing, interviewing, and job preparation. Additionally, the WDB hosts job fairs in order to pair local businesses that need talent with WDB members who have attended training workshops. The organization operates these workshops and job fairs out of two locations within Santa Barbara County in order to make them easily accessible to members citywide.

For businesses, the WDB offers resources designed to assist firms that are struggling with human resource needs like recruitment, associate training, and the retention of valuable employees. Business owners may also participate in the organization’s youth program by mentoring young residents with entrepreneurial aspirations.

2. The City of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara’s local government uses its website in order to inform residents about all amenities available to them as members of the city. Among these amenities is an online directory for entrepreneurs and company owners to access tools that can make their businesses more successful.

Santa Barbara City Hall - Image courtesy Damian Gadal on Flickr

Included in these resources is a video library that contains 30 minutes’ worth of video about tips, regulations, and services that are provided specifically to businesses by the local government. Additionally, the website sports an online tool that helps business owners create custom maps that contain in-depth geographical information such as zoning, streets, and aerial photos.

On the website, individuals can also learn about permits, licenses, and fees, and access paperless business books archived by local libraries. Additionally, businessmen and women can find a list of legal steps that entrepreneurs opening businesses need to take. The site also identifies ways to make a business environmentally-friendly and makes it easy to research tips for complying with regulations put in place to prevent water pollution in the area. All of these amenities and more can be accessed by logging onto

3. The Economic Forecast Project

Established more than 30 years ago by the University of California, Santa Barbara, the Economic Forecast Project is a valuable resource to the business and nonprofit communities as well as government entities within the region. Through its collection of statistical data, the group is able to analyze economic and demographic trends that affect the business community of Santa Barbara at a regional level.

After examination, the data collected by the Economic Forecast Project is put into articles that are available to the public free of charge. These articles can be used in order to help firms see trends in areas like employment within specific industries, home values, and median household income, which may help them make educated business decisions that create a healthy local economy.

The project’s most recent articles about the economy within the region have reported on subjects such as third quarter job growth, the rate of affordability within the housing industry, and seasonal employment trends.

4. SCORE Santa Barbara

The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) Santa Barbara is an organization that provides mentoring services to aspiring entrepreneurs in the county. All SCORE mentors serve the organization on a volunteer basis and are part of a network consisting of more than 13,000 experienced business professionals across many industries. These sectors range from areas like real estate and hospitality to capital raising, technology, and the nonprofit sector.

The only requirement that an entrepreneur needs in order to secure a SCORE mentor is an email address. Because SCORE has no headquarters, all mentorship sessions are scheduled via email in order to establish the needs of the entrepreneur in a timely, convenient manner. Once an entrepreneur has requested assistance, he or she will be paired with a mentor who has experience in the same industry, meeting online or in person in order to ask questions and receive assistance in evaluating business decisions and strategies.

In addition to mentoring services, SCORE also offers local businessmen and women the opportunity to participate in online workshops on subjects such as financial management and online reputation. A visit to the organization’s website can also provide individuals with tools and templates designed to facilitate better business practices.

Monday, December 21, 2015

5 Free Programs for Teens in the City of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara at night

A city with a strong tourism industry and a reputation for a relaxed beach culture, Santa Barbara is an ideal vacation destination for families. Beyond that, the residents who call this central California coastal city home have the opportunity to work, play, and live in a municipality that values sustainability, healthy living, and the natural beauty of the earth.

Santa Barbara is also known for being home to a significant number of nonprofit organizations, with the industry generating 8.4 percent of the county’s gross domestic product. Additionally, Santa Barbara County ranks second to only Marin County in Northern California in having the greatest number of nonprofit organizations per capita in the state. Of the many demographics that this sector caters to, one of the largest groups to benefit is the city’s youth, with foundations, centers, and programs that focus directly on improving the lives of local teenagers.

The Parks and Recreation department of the City of Santa Barbara has established a number of free programs to educate and engage its teenage residents, including the following five programs listed below.

1. Teen Culinary Arts Program

The Teen Culinary Arts Program helps prepare local students in grades 11 and 12 for adult life through lessons on cooking and meal preparation. During the 18-week program, students attend after-school classes to learn about subjects such as nutrition, food health and safety standards, fruit and vegetable canning, cake decoration, and basic cooking.

In addition, students can participate in field trips and special activities during the program, including a tour and presentation led by a chef at a local 4-star hotel, an excursion to an organic food market, and the opportunity to cater a special event. All classes are held at the Franklin Neighborhood Center on Santa Barbara’s east side.

teen cooking

2. Franklin Youth Drop-In Center

For local teenagers looking to spend time socializing with kids their own age, the Franklin Youth Drop-In Center provides them with a free, safe environment in which to do so. Amenities available at the center include recreational activities such as foosball and pool tournaments, free internet access at the center’s computer lab, a movie room, and materials for making arts and crafts.

Teens who choose to spend time at the center may also participate in fun community service projects such as mural painting or neighborhood cleanups, which teach them about the value of civic involvement. Older teens who are ready to enter the workforce can participate in workshops which teach them job skills. Topics covered during these workshops include resume writing, interviewing, and workplace readiness training.

3. Santa Barbara Arts Alliance

The city takes on the challenge of youth-on-youth violence and vandalism through year-round initiatives that combine art and learning at the Santa Barbara Arts Alliance. In this program, teens and young adults between the ages of 14 and 21 can attend art-based workshops and field trips and engage in tasks that reduce graffiti in the community. This is done primarily through the creation of murals by students in locations regularly targeted by vandals.

Over the last ten years, the Santa Barbara Arts Alliance has provided more than 500 adolescents from disadvantaged backgrounds with the opportunity to earn leadership skills and indulge their creativity in a way that helps them reconnect with their communities. Teens who participate in the program are also able to find supportive mentors in the adults who volunteer with the organization.

teen reading

4. Santa Barbara Youth Council

The City of Santa Barbara gives its younger residents the ability to participate in local government through the Santa Barbara Youth Council. This legislative group is comprised of students between the ages of 13 and 19 who attend public, private, or alternative junior high or high schools in the area. Among the council’s duties are gathering input from Santa Barbara’s youth on local issues, recommending changes to policies that affect teens in the city, and encouraging civic engagement through public forums, workshops, and conferences.

In order to become a member of the Santa Barbara Youth Council, teens must be appointed to one of 15 available seats by the Mayor of Santa Barbara and the City Council. Once appointed, council members hold their seats for two year terms, but are eligible to be reappointed. In order to maintain their seats on the council, students must commit to at least 10 hours of community service each month.

5. Youth Volunteer and Job Apprenticeship

Rounding out the city’s available programs for local teams are many youth volunteer and job apprenticeship opportunities designed to help teenagers develop useful life skills. The youth volunteer programs meet at one of the city’s three neighborhood centers, and help adolescents connect with their peers while bettering their communities through civic engagement.

Through the job apprenticeship program, local adolescents from disadvantaged backgrounds can earn the opportunity to learn job skills meant to deter them from choosing violence-oriented lifestyles. Resources provided by this program include workshops that focus on job readiness and workplace skills, as well as paid training for positions within departments of the City of Santa Barbara’s local government.

Friday, December 18, 2015

3 Fun Things to Do on the Santa Barbara Channel Islands

Santa Barbara’s tourism industry brings in over $1 billion each year. Beautiful weather, local festivals, and fresh seafood are among the many reasons that tourists choose this California city as a vacation destination. It also has an advantage over other coastal cities due to its proximity to the Channel Islands National Park, a collection of five land bodies whose geographic location help form the diverse and beautiful Santa Barbara Channel.

Channel Islands National Park and multiple conservation areas within the Santa Barbara Channel are protected from harmful human activity by law because of their biodiverse marine life, as well as their roles as habitats for many sensitive, threatened, and endangered species.

Despite several restrictions and closures put in place within the park to protect the delicate balance of the islands’ ecosystems, visitors are still permitted to visit each of the five land bodies. Read on to discover three activities that visitors can enjoy while visiting Channel Islands National Park.

1. Watersports

Watersports such as kayaking, snorkeling, and swimming are some of the most interactive and challenging ways to experience Channel Islands National Park. Of the five islands, authorities recommend pursuing aquatic activities only on Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara. While visitors are legally allowed to kayak, swim, or snorkel off of the Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands, park employees only recommend it for experienced visitors, as the strong winds that blow through these westerly islands can make these activities difficult and dangerous.

Anacapa Island is an excellent option for snorkeling, and its location on the marine reserve gives visitors a chance to view many diverse forms of underwater life. Kayaking on Santa Barbara Island in particular provides visitors with incredible sights, including views of the sea lion rookery and the chance to paddle through a number of natural rock arches. On Santa Cruz Island, visitors will find the easiest beach access, along with a collection of sea caves and kelp beds to explore. Additionally, several spots on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel Islands experience large annual swells that are prime for surfing, but which people can only access by private boat.

2. Hiking

In conjunction with the multiple opportunities to explore the coastal waters that surround the Channel Islands, there are many options for those who prefer to discover the area by land. Hiking and picnicking are among the favored recreational pastimes for day-trip visitors, with each island offering its own sets of trails of varying lengths and difficulties.

Hikers of all ability levels who prefer scenic views to a strenuous workout will find what they’re looking for at Anacapa, where two miles of trails wind in a figure-eight pattern around the island, providing expansive views of the Pacific as well as the Anacapa Island Light Station. Santa Barbara Island also provides relaxed trails with gentle terrain that bring visitors to overlook points on low mountaintops. Both the Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands offer a choice between flat, maintained trails or more difficult, unmaintained treks that lead hikers through rocky mountain passes.

Picnicking is also a popular activity among park visitors, and picnic tables dot the landscape at the visitor centers on Santa Barbara and Anacapa, while Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa sport a collection of picnic tables at Prisoners Harbor and Water Canyon Beach, respectively. Though there are no picnic tables on San Miguel Island, the sands of Cuyler Harbor Beach are a popular location for visitors to enjoy lunch. Additionally, year-round camping sites are available on each of the islands for $15 per night. Anyone interested in camping must make reservations in advance, as the number of sites is limited.

3. Wildlife Exploration

Whether choosing to explore the islands by land or by sea, visitors have many opportunities to view a variety of wildlife. From the islands or by kayak, up to 27 different species of cetaceans can be seen, including the largest group of blue whales on the planet. Other species that make their homes in Channel Islands National Park include orcas and bottlenose dolphins, as well as grey, humpback, and sperm whales. Various locations across all of the five islands afford visitors a look at the breeding grounds of four different kinds of seals and sea lions. San Miguel is the site of one of the largest aggregations of pinnipeds in the world and hosts a population of more than 120,000 California sea lions, northern elephant seals, northern fur seals, and harbor seals, which arrive annually to breed.

Further inland, the Channel Islands are home to four native terrestrial species, including the island spotted skunk and island fox, as well as the island deer mouse and harvest mouse. While native land animals are few in number, more than 40 bird species regularly nest here, including bald eagles, pelicans, and Brandt’s cormorants.

Another draw for nature enthusiasts is the Island’s collection of 775 plant species, including wildflower populations that are known for their late blooming periods, filling the park with color even in late winter and early spring.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

5 Initiatives of the Community Environmental Council

Many Santa Barbara residents are familiar with the 1969 oil spill that triggered the city’s first wave of environmental activism, a movement that has continued to gain traction over the course of the subsequent 46 years. For a community that has long given the ocean a starring role in the development of its local culture, the emotional effects of the oil spill were dramatic and left many residents feeling devastated.

Out of all the negative consequences caused by the Union Oil Company’s ruptured pipeline came a single silver lining: the crisis inspired a zealous interest in environmental protection within the Santa Barbara community. One year after the oil spill occurred, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) was established, hosting an event for the United States’ first-ever celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 1970.

Since its foundation, the Community Environmental Council has launched a number of initiatives, projects, and events in the interest of maintaining the health and prosperity of Santa Barbara’s local ecosystem. The CEC continues to honor its commitment to environmental health through the following current initiatives: 

1. Drive Less 

Automobiles are responsible for approximately a third of the air pollution in America, contributing carbon monoxide and other toxins to the environment and creating smog and ozone damage that can drastically impact all life forms. However, the carbon footprint left behind by cars stems from more than just their operation. The plants that produce the steel, rubber, plastics, and paint used in automobile assembly require large amounts of energy and emit significant air pollution in the process. 

The CEC’s Drive Less initiative encourages Santa Barbara residents to limit their consumption of fossil fuels and improve air quality through the use of alternate transportation modes. In order to make the reduction of car use as simple to implement as possible, the organization has developed resources like the Bicycle Master Plan, which outlines a long-term strategy for effectively and affordably making Santa Barbara more bicycle-friendly. Additionally, the organization is focused on establishing an efficient ridesharing project for the city, and offers tips on how to reduce car use through its Drive Less blog.

2. Choose Electric

The CEC’s ultimate goal is to eliminate Santa Barbara’s dependency on fossil fuels within one generation, and doing so requires the group to provide residents who cannot reduce their use of automobiles with a green alternative. The CEC’s Choose Electric initiative helps frequent automobile users be ecofriendly by providing informational resources about clean energy cars.

 Through the Plug in Santa Barbara program, the group has established more than 300 area charging stations for electric vehicles and continues to work with local businesses to locate additional viable sites for green cars to replenish their energy. Additionally, the three annual green car shows hosted by the CEC bring a wide range of clean energy car models to the streets in order to allow residents to observe and learn about the benefits of using these alternative vehicles.

3. Go Solar

Residents know that Santa Barbara’s climate is one of its most endearing assets, and with an average of 300 days of sunshine each year, the region is an ideal candidate for the implementation of solar energy. The Community Environmental Council aims to put into practice a system of zero-net-energy buildings in the Santa Barbara area within 20 years through its Go Solar initiative.
Through a proposal submitted to the city government in November of 2007, the organization outlined its reasoning behind the plan, and provided the city of Santa Barbara and its residents with a feasible plan of action to begin moving the region away from its use of fossil fuels. Additionally, as of June 2015, the county arranged funding for the CEC to conduct a feasibility study for its plan, and inspired two additional California counties to the north to participate in the study as well.

4. Ditch Plastic 

The use of plastic is so widespread that the amount of plastic in the environment is incalculable. In the United States alone, the average citizen throws away 185 pounds of the polymer each year, and as a country we reuse only 5 percent of that waste annually. These habits of overproduction and under-recycling have resulted in five “plastic islands” floating in the world’s oceans, contaminating the global ecosystem and ultimately endangering human life. 

The CEC has taken action against the unnecessary use of plastic in the Santa Barbara community through its Ditch Plastic initiative, introducing programs like Rethink the Drink, which installs water refill stations in county schools. Likewise, the organization’s Ban the Bag program played a part in legislation that will reduce the amount of plastic bags in the region each year by over 100 million. The Water Monster program also helps local event hosts to make their occasions plastic-free.

5. Eat Local

In addition to encouraging the production of fresh fruits and vegetables for Santa Barbara residents, the CEC’s Eat Local initiative focuses on diminishing the use of fossil fuels local businesses need by decreasing the amount of produce transported into the region from far-away locations. It also aims to stimulate the local economy by providing additional jobs for Santa Barbara farmers.

To accomplish this, the organization has partnered with local nonprofits to combine resources and develop a viable food system for the area called the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan. The CEC also hosts events and has published a paper on the effects of food waste in the county in an effort to reduce the amount of food waste produced locally.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Santa Barbara Undertakes Infrastructure Improvements

Santa Barbara Undertakes Infrastructure Improvements

The seaside city of Santa Barbara puts a significant amount of resources toward the well-being of its residents. Whether through its support for children in the community, provisions for local nonprofits, or construction of beautiful parks for locals to enjoy, the city offers excellent amenities to those who call Santa Barbara home.

Infrastructure is often such a basic amenity in the average American city that many forget the importance of its role in allowing a place like Santa Barbara to run smoothly. Components of city infrastructure such as transportation, water quality, recreational facilities, and electrical systems all contribute to the city’s economy and its population’s ability to operate efficiently as they go about their daily lives.

While the need for an upgrade to infrastructure systems within the United States has been a notable point of debate in recent years, the local government of Santa Barbara has already taken steps to improve the amenities and physical systems accessed by the metro area’s nearly 400,000 residents in the following four sectors:

1. Transportation

In order to more easily navigate the streets of Santa Barbara, amenities such as roads, sidewalks, bridges, and traffic signals need to be maintained and upgraded as they age. In an effort to support the infrastructure of the city’s transportation systems, the local government has proposed and implemented a number of recent projects.

Highway at night

The Zone 2 Road Maintenance Project began in September 2015 with the goal of repairing distressed and deteriorated pavement near the Hitchcock area north of Mission Canyon. Additionally, roadways are now being resealed and parking lots resurfaced in an effort to improve transportation conditions for residents. The area of Goleta also recently approved the purchase and installation of $60,000 worth of LED traffic signals, taking a proactive approach to replacing the technology that has been in place for longer than its suggested lifespan. In replacing certain traffic lights with energy efficient models prior to their failure, Santa Barbara is taking a step to avoid dangerous emergency change-outs.

Other improvements in the area of transportation infrastructure include bridge improvement projects, which are currently underway for several structures that stretch across Mission Creek, including the Cabrillo Boulevard, Mason Street, and Cota Street bridges. Collectively, the new bridges will increase flood capacity in their areas, improve safety, and make room for more pedestrian areas and greater walkability.

2. Water Quality and Creek Restoration

Santa Barbara’s proximity to the ocean makes for a beautiful view, but it also requires residents to incorporate responsible water quality practices into their daily lives. Street runoff is a dominant factor in the pollution of local creeks and streams, eventually reaching the Pacific Ocean where it can affect local marine life.

creek with clean water

In order to improve water quality in the area, city programs and local nonprofits focus on obtaining routine samples from water sources throughout Santa Barbara. The implementation of storm water drains and regular street sweeping programs help prevent runoff from becoming tainted with debris or other waste, while regulations established in the city’s Storm Water Management Program lay out guidelines for private residences and businesses to follow in order to avoid contaminating water sources.

Another crucial element to the infrastructure of water quality is the care of the creek systems that wind throughout the city. In addition to regular creek cleanup projects conducted by various charitable and governmental organizations, the city has commissioned multiple restoration projects in which participants remove invasive plants from creek banks, restore native vegetation, and remove unnecessary manmade barriers. In doing so, the city hopes to improve environmental health and save dwindling populations of fish native to the area, such as the Southern California steelhead trout.

3. Parks and Recreation

Early in 2015, the City of Santa Barbara outlined multiple proposed renovations to parks and community facilities in a six-year capital improvement program. Among the areas that the local government seeks to focus on are the replacement of the playground, park infrastructure safety, and renovations to buildings such as the Municipal Tennis Stadium.

tennis ball on court
Among the plans currently in the early stages of development in Santa Barbara are the proposed renovations to Cabrillo Ball Park, which includes improving the aesthetics, upgrading safety features, and potentially creating opportunities to play a wider variety of sports through the construction of basketball courts.

The city of Santa Barbara also focuses on caring for its existing parks through the practice of integrated pest management, an environmentally responsible practice that aims to keep parks pleasant for visitors while protecting the health of both human visitors and the land.

In order to improve fire safety on park land, city employees also practice wildland vegetation management in these areas, which reduces dry vegetation and establishes fire breaks throughout local parks and the homes that surround them.

4. Electrical Grid

The level of energy efficiency within a city’s electrical grid can affect how much its residents pay for power. Renovating an outdated grid can help reduce both the production and delivery costs of an inefficient system and can contribute to the conservation of resources.

electrical grid power lines
In April 2015, energy company Southern California Edison announced that it will be making $12 million worth of renovations to downtown Santa Barbara’s power grid over a two-year period. The process will involve replacing outdated and malfunctioning parts, placing distribution poles, and adding newer technology that will allow for remote-controlled amenities that can be used to return power in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.

By upgrading the electrical grid, professionals will also be able to minimize the city’s number of unexpected outages. Additionally, the technology will help these men and women to more easily identify and isolate the outages, leading to quicker response times and faster restoration of power.

Friday, December 4, 2015

4 Nonprofits That Assist People in Need in Santa Barbara

4 Nonprofits That Assist People in Need in Santa Barbara

Bixby Bridge, Santa Barbara, California

Last spring, many Santa Barbara residents participated in an initiative that sent several hundred volunteers out into the community in order to determine the extent of the county’s homeless population. While the city itself has provided housing to a multitude of men, women, children, and veterans over the last few years, the number of individuals in need residing within the county still numbers 1,455, according to a recent survey.

Seeking to provide housing and other necessary resources to people in need in Santa Barbara and the surrounding county, the following local nonprofits welcome homeless men, women, and children:

Casa Esperanza

The shelter Casa Esperanza is among the largest on California’s South Coast, and recently paired with the Los Angeles-based nonprofit People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) in order to help a larger number of people off of the streets. In addition to the fundraising efforts that it sponsors to raise money to combat homelessness, Casa Esperanza also serves as transitional housing.

In order to access the organization’s resources, applicants must have previously resided in Santa Barbara for at least six months. In addition, they must make a commitment to remain sober during their stay at the shelter. Once an individual opts for interim housing at Casa Esperanza, he or she may participate in a wide range of on-site programs and services, including job development programs, mental health programs, and men’s and women’s support groups.

Additionally, Casa Esperanza operates a community kitchen where residents receive three meals per day, adding up to nearly 144,000 meals each year. The kitchen also functions as a distribution center that collects and allots food to other local nonprofit kitchens that help feed populations in need within the community.

Santa Barbara Street Medicine

Founded in 2005, the local charity Santa Barbara Street Medicine focuses on providing resources to the local homeless population through volunteer physicians. Comprised of volunteers with medical and non-medical experience, Santa Barbara Street Medicine is the local chapter of a larger organization that provides medical care to men, women, and children in need, as well as survivors of natural disasters.

Although the nonprofit is established in the form of clinics in the areas of Isla Vista and Alameda, the medical volunteers also participate in clinical work in areas such as Pershing Park near the Santa Barbara Harbor. This form of street medicine involves making rounds throughout downtown equipped with medical instruments and medication. This kind of medical practice is performed in the interest of caring for men and women who may not have the physical capability to walk to one of the charity’s freestanding clinics.

Santa Barbara Street Medicine takes health care one step further through its operation of the Women’s Free Homeless Clinic, a place where women in need can find resources to treat various physical and mental health ailments. Those who look to the clinic for help can also get assistance in accessing other community resources to protect them from abusive conditions.

Santa Barbara Rescue Mission

A faith-based emergency shelter, the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission (SBRM) focuses the majority of its funding and resources on helping residents to overcome drug and alcohol addiction. Of the available beds at the mission, 100 are reserved specifically for men, a group which studies have suggested comprises the vast majority of the single homeless population.

At the SBRM, both men and women who stay overnight can store their luggage, take a nightly shower, attend chapel services, and receive both breakfast and dinner. Those who enroll in the organization’s year-long recovery programs are provided with a support network and educational plans designed to see them through the grueling process of coping with and overcoming alcohol and drug dependency.

The Mission also provides outpatient services several times a week in areas such as couples counseling, family support groups, relapse prevention, and many other mental health-related conditions.

Transition House

For over 30 years, Transition House has focused on providing families a place to stay for up to four months when they find themselves faced with homelessness. Families who stay at Transition House participate in one of three programs designed to help them operate independently again in a home of their own.

The nonprofit’s first option allows families to stay for up to four months in the organization’s emergency housing shelter, where they are provided with shelter, food, and childcare. Additionally, parents receive case management services that help them identify and implement strategies that will put them on the path to a stable career.

Under the second housing option, families may apply to live in one of the low-cost apartments owned by Transition House, where they continue to work with a case manager in an effort to build a career with a sustainable income. In this way, the nonprofit helps the family accrue a savings through professional development, enabling the family to eventually reach a position in which they can comfortably move into a market-rate home of their own.

Another program at Transition House aims to prevent homelessness by providing financial support to parents from families with low incomes in the form of cash rental assistance. As in the other options, the goal is to help parents in families threatened by homelessness to pursue and hold down a job that allows them to improve their family’s economic circumstances.