DignityNOW

Working to End Unsheltered Homelessness in Santa Barbara County

Since our first community opened in downtown Santa Barbara, we have been dedicated to uplifting the lives of people experiencing homelessness in Santa Barbara County. To date, we have built three interim housing communities in downtown Santa Barbara, La Posada, and Hope Village in Santa Maria, with a total of 243 beds and the capacity to serve over 350 residents per year. Ending unsheltered homelessness is possible, and together with our partners, we are getting closer to our goal of providing enough housing for everyone in the County.

DignityMoves connects residents to essential services and support, empowering individuals to regain independence and stability.

Spotlight: Santa Barbara Street Village

As of January 2024, over 100 people have been served (34 are still in residence) – 88 have moved into stable housing, 14 have gotten jobs, seven are in school, and 85% are document-ready for the next step in their lives.

Built in 9 Months

The regulatory and permitting process for permanent supporting housing projects can take four to five years. We were able to build Santa Barbara Street Village in nine months, despite supply chain and labor shortages caused by COVID-19.

243 Units + More

Our impact in Santa Barbara has unlocked $14M in philanthropic and county funding, which will allow us to build enough shelter beds to close the county’s shelter bed gap. With the addition of a new 94-unit community in Santa Maria and a new 80-unit community in Santa Barbara, we are just over 60% of the way towards building enough housing for the entire county.

$1.7M to Build

While permanent supportive housing can cost up to $750,000+ a unit, we were able to build this community of 34 units and additional shared facilities for $1.7 million.

Hear from our Residents

Meet Tabitha

Coming here from the street after always being in survival mode was tough, believe it or not. Now that I’ve settled in, I love this place. It’s a complete change from living in my car and having to be awake and aware all the time. I have privacy now. Before, when people would walk by my car, my dog would bark, and the people could look directly into my car. It was very embarrassing for me. Now I can go to sleep without worrying. This place is just what I needed.

Meet Frank

Being out in the street is no joke whether you are living in a vehicle or not. No good things come out of staying in the streets. I’ve been homeless off and on since 2000. I’ve already had two open heart surgeries so I was staying in my vehicle but I still needed electricity to keep my pacemaker working. It is nice to be able to be clean, take a shower everyday, and eat well. I never thought something like this would ever happen. This place stands out.

Santa Barbara County Interim Housing Communities

Hope Village

Located at 511 Lakeside Parkway in Santa Maria, across the street from the Betteravia government complex, this community serves North County individuals experiencing homelessness. It includes 94 rooms, 10 of which are for transitional age youth (“TAY”) and operated by Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley; 30 of the rooms in this community are reserved for people experiencing homelessness that require recuperative care after being discharged from area hospitals and medical providers; 10 of the rooms will be reserved for veterans.

Learn More

La Posada

Located at 4500 Hollister, La Posada provides housing to individuals living in encampments in the immediate area. This community includes 80 rooms, provides 24/7 security, intensive case management for each resident, three meals a day as well as mental and physical health care services.

Learn More

Moving Forward: 2024 Goals

The County of San Barbara has been so pleased with results at the Santa Barbara Street Village that they have designated four new sites to build the additional 300 units. One site is in North County and three are in South County.

 

 

Get Involved

Your generosity provides dignified, supportive housing to our neighbors.

 

As a demonstration of community support, we offer naming and sponsorship opportunities as each of our sites. Rooms available for naming include the kitchen/dining area, office spaces, computer labs, outdoor patios and gardens. These typically range from $10,000-$50,000 dollars and include a permanent plaque with your name/organization/group and continued acknowledgement at events. If you are interested in a naming opportunity or sponsorship, please contact jack@dignitymoves.org.

Naming and Sponsorship Opportunities

Gifts can be designated for a specific site or building, with naming opportunities available for the following:

Sponsor an Entire Village

The Shower/Restroom/Laundry Unit
The Dining Room
A Residential Unit
A Recuperative Unit
The Clinic
A Social Service Office
The Computer Lab
The Dog Run
The Playground
The Community Garden

For more information please contact Jack Lorenz at Jack@DignityMoves.org or 310-266-0502.

Team

Santa Barbara Team

Matt Riley
Matt Riley
Matt
Riley
Advisory Board Member
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JJP_2402-e1629115933301
JJP_2402-e1629115933301
Jack
Lorenz
Regional Advancement Officer, Santa Barbara
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Matt Riley
Advisory Board Member

Matt Riley leads many initiatives in renewables energy, with a specific passion to engage in the fight against climate change. As the Head of Grid-Scale Renewables at ENGIE North America, he led a global independent power producer during its transition from fossil fuel generation to a zero-carbon renewable energy future. Building more than two gigawatts of wind and solar energy projects during his tenure, ENGIE emerged as a leader in this important transition. Prior to his role at ENGIE, Matt co-founded Infinity Renewables, a leading renewable energy developer in the U.S. Infinity’s successful development of over four gigawatts of operating wind energy projects, representing the electricity use of over 1 million households, was capped by its acquisition by ENGIE in 2018.

Matt holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biopsychology and a Master’s of Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

When Matt is not working you can find him spending quality time at the beach with his family and dog in Santa Barbara, California. His weekends often include adventuring in the hills or spending time out on the water.

Email: matt@dignitymoves.org

Jack Lorenz
Regional Advancement Officer, Santa Barbara

Jack Lorenz has dedicated the last 20 years to serving social and economic justice organizations. He was most recently the Director of Development and Communications for Alliance for Housing and Healing, a Los Angeles based non-profit that provides services to homeless individuals with HIV/AIDS. Prior to Alliance, Jack was the Deputy Executive Director of Programs and Development at Equality California, the largest statewide LGBT organization in the United States.

Other funding projects Jack has overseen include “Protect, Detect, Report,” a program that protects LGBT seniors from Medicare Fraud, the California State Department of Mental Health’s “Reducing Disparities Project,” and the Equality California Institute’s “Health Happens with Equality,” which was recognized by the White House for its impact.

Prior to working in the nonprofit space, Jack was a film and television studio executive supervising productions at The Walt Disney Studios, MCA Universal, and Mandalay Entertainment. He used this expertise to serve as Executive Director of the Gatekeeper Foundation, producing documentaries advocating for the fair treatment of undocumented immigrants and other vulnerable populations.

Jack holds a Bachelor’s in Theatre History and a master’s degree in Humanities from California State University, Northridge.

Email: jack@dignitymoves.org

Board Members

Santa Barbara Advisory Board

Aaron M. Edelheit
Aaron M. Edelheit
Aaron
M. Edelheit
Advisor
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Karen H.
Karen H.
Karen
Schloss Heimberg
Regional Council
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Rob P.
Rob P.
Rob
Pearson
Regional Council
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nati smith
nati smith
Nati
Smith
Regional Council
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Laurie Tumbler
Laurie Tumbler
Laurie
Tumbler
Regional Council
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Aaron M. Edelheit
Advisor

Aaron M. Edelheit is the CEO and Founder of Mindset Capital, a private investment firm. Aaron also was the Chief Strategy Officer of FLO Technologies, after being one of the first investors in the company, helping the company grow from a pre-revenue startup to raising $28 million and launching in over 500 Home Depot stores. FLO was acquired in January of 2020 by Fortune Brands.

 

In his previous role as CEO of The American Home, Aaron founded and grew a company from 16 rental homes to one that owned 2,500 single family rental homes and was sold in April 2015 to a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust.

 

Aaron also founded and ran a successful money management firm, Sabre Value Management from 1998 to 2011.

 

In 2018, IdeaPress published Aaron’s first book, The Hard Break: The Case for a 24/6 Lifestyle. The book makes the case for taking one day off from work, email and smartphones for a more productive, healthier and more creative life.

 

Aaron has served on the boards of non-profits such as the Moishe House Foundation and Global Village Project. And he is also a member of Social Venture Partners in Santa Barbara, California.

 

Aaron has also been featured and quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg, and CNBC among others and has given lectures on business and entrepreneurship in the U.S., Canada and South Africa.

Karen Schloss Heimberg
Regional Council

Longtime Santa Barbara resident, business owner, and advocate for families, education, and refugees

Rob Pearson
Regional Council

Rob Pearson served as the Executive Director of the Santa Barbara City Housing Authority from October 1988 to December 2016. He is now retired. Prior to being Executive Director, he served as its Deputy Executive Director for 6 years. The Authority currently provides over 4,600 units of low rent housing assistance to the South Coast. Their rental housing inventory has often been termed “the best public housing” in the nation. The balance of Rob’s professional career was with the City of Santa Barbara where he held various positions, the last being Housing and Redevelopment Manager. As the Redevelopment Manager for the City, Rob was responsible for the operation of the City’s Redevelopment Agency, the Community Development Block Grant program, Housing Rehabilitation program, and related planning and community development activities. He holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of California at Santa Barbara. One year of undergraduate study was completed at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. His graduate work was completed at Cal State Northridge in Environmental Planning. Rob is also active in numerous civic organizations. He is past president of the Coastal Housing Partnership, board member and past president of Casa Esperanza Homeless Center, a member of the Housing Committee pf the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association, President of San Felipe Supportive Housing for the Disabled, a member of the Santa Barbara Housing Action Coalition and a founding board member of the Housing Trust Fund for Santa Barbara County. Rob also served as Vice President of AIDS Housing Santa Barbara and served as a Trustee and Vice-Chair of Goleta Valley Community Hospital for many years.

Nati Smith
Regional Council

Nati Smith has a deep focus on positive impact through well being, creative arts, food, investment and philanthropy. She is a principal at Ponvalley, a family office focused on well being and empowering entrepreneurs addressing environmental challenges. She has served on Santa Barbara-area boards including KindMind, LotusLand, SB Contemporary Art Museum and has set up numerous art and children’s related programming at the Jewish Federation and more. She is publishing a children’s book series called Mish.

 

Nati, was born and raised in Jerusalem. She served in the Israeli Defense Forces and then studied at the Lauder School at Interdisciplinary College in Herzilya before moving to Los Angeles. While there, she set up a Vegan and Gluten Free bakery serving top coffee restaurants in Los Angeles and worked with several nonprofits including Stand With Us.

 

She currently resides in Santa Barbara with her husband and two children.

Laurie Tumbler
Regional Council

Laurie Tumbler currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara. She chaired the Board from 2018-2020 and led the organization through incorporation and the formation of the new independent nonprofit organization.

Since moving to Santa Barbara in 2000, she has served on the Board of the Nonprofit Support Center and also was their interim Executive Director while they recruited a permanent Executive Director. During her tenure, the organization developed its first strategic plan and piloted a service to provide interim leaders to organizations experiencing leadership changes. The Nonprofit Support Center also developed a nonprofit consulting practice that helped regional nonprofits improve their business practices.

Laurie served on the Transition House Board for many years, chairing the Board from 2007-2008. She was part of the leadership team that shepherded the tax credit project to develop and construct the MOM’S supportive housing apartments on Cota Street providing much needed housing for families transitioning out of the Transition House emergency shelter program.

As a member of Social Venture Partners in Santa Barbara she led a team that secured a HUD grant to fund a new residential facility for homeless individuals struggling with mental illness. This project was in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.

For several years, she was part of grant allocation committees for both United Way of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Foundation.

After earning a B.A from the University of Illinois in History and English, Laurie pursued a career in financial services working in both insurance companies and bank trust departments. She founded and managed her own financial research company with clients in banking, investment management, and insurance on the east coast. Before moving to Santa Barbara, Laurie was a member of several nonprofit boards across the country serving agencies focused on the welfare of children and families.