Record-Breaking $900,000 in Grants Awarded to Local Nonprofits by the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara

A whopping $900,000 was awarded this week to 11 local nonprofit agencies reflecting the largest annual pool of contributions in the 18-year history of the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara. This year’s amount brings the total funds awarded in grants to more than $9.5 million since 2004 when Women’s Fund members first began combining their charitable dollars into significant grants.

Grants were presented at a crowded Annual Celebration of Grants event held at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum on May 4, 2022. The event marked the end of the 2021-2022 Women’s Fund grant cycle and honored its newest grantees, voted on by the membership of 1,163 women.

“This year our members voted to award grants to projects focused on addressing four key areas identified in our rigorous research process as critical community needs: homelessness, education, healthcare, and food insecurity,” said Michele Neely Saltoun, Co-Chair of the Women’s Fund’s Research Committee, who together with Co-Chair Marita Hawryluk, introduced each of the 11 grant recipients.  Agency representatives enthusiastically described how the grant funds will be used to immediately serve the needs of women, children, and families in Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Carpinteria.

The agencies that received 2021-2022 grants are:

Channel Islands YMCATo expand access to confidential case management and support services for young people living on the street by funding one year of rent for a dedicated drop-in center in downtown Santa Barbara. ($75,000)

DignityMoves – To provide critical services for homeless people in transitional housing by funding construction of a private, on-site case management office. ($75,000)

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County – To expand home delivery of food to impoverished older adults by paying for food to be delivered to an additional 360 senior households. ($55,000)

Freedom 4 Youth – To fund 75% of staffing costs for a program director and a youth and family engagement manager to establish the “Fem-powerment” program. ($100,000 over two years)

Girls Inc. of Carpinteria – To fund a licensed therapist to provide weekly therapy sessions for 200 school-age girls and quarterly workshops for parents. ($100,000 over two years)

People’s Self Help Housing – To pay for additional advisors and tutors to expand the College Club Program from 10 to 50 students. ($40,000)

Sanctuary Centers of Santa Barbara – To double the number of children and adolescents receiving psychiatric and counseling services by funding two bilingual therapists. ($100,000)

Santa Barbara Education Foundation – To support the creation of an outdoor learning environment at Harding Elementary School for 250 pre-school and elementary students by funding site preparation. ($100,000)

Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics – To expand access to free and affordable dental care for underserved children, adults, and seniors by partially funding a state-of-the-art Mobile Dental Clinic with a wheelchair lift. ($100,000)

SB ACT – To assist 300 individuals to move from street-level homelessness to permanent supportive housing by helping pay for part-time staff to operate Neighborhood Navigation Centers. ($100,000)

Storyteller Children’s Center – To support the needs of 60-70 families of at-risk preschool children by funding the salary of an on-site family advocate, plus costs for office space, professional development, and operating a parent support group. (55,000)

For more information about each agency and grant purpose, go to

Pictured (from left): Rich Sander, Executive Director, SB Act; Barry Schoer, President/CEO, Sanctuary Centers of Santa Barbara; Miryam Moctezuma, Regional Coordinator, People’s Self Help Housing; Elizabeth Funk, Founder & Exec Chair of the Board, Dignity Moves; Jamie Collins, Executive Director, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria; Veronica Brinkley, Principal, Santa Barbara Education Foundation (for Harding University Partnership School); Erik Talkin, CEO, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County; Susan Cass, Executive Director, Storyteller Children’s Center; Mac Hahn, Executive Director, Channel Islands YMCA; Nancy Tillie, COO/CFO, SB Neighborhood Clinics; Billi Jo Starr, Executive Director, Freedom 4 Youth.

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