Our annual Easter Feast was a happy and festive occasion. We had all of the special touches for our homeless guests, thanks to our donors’ generosity and creativity. In the absence of volunteers, we had the support of a fleet of Westmont College interns who have braved COVID with us and cared for our guests throughout this dark season.
On Saturday, March 13, Santa Barbara Community Church hosted the first graduation ceremony of 2021! Last year we were confined to celebrating in our parking lot due to COVID-19 guidelines, so we were grateful for the opportunity to have it in this beautiful setting. We are proud of these eight men and women who not only endured the demands of our recovery program but all of the challenges of a worldwide pandemic.
We were thankful that Santa Barbara Community Church could live-stream our event on YouTube, and if you missed it, you can watch the recording by clicking here: Spring Graduation 2021 Video!
The SBRM community was grieved to learn of the passing of our most dedicated volunteer. A retired teacher, Jane Blair, tutored hundreds of men and women through our Learning Center. She was a patient and caring teacher who took great joy in seeing her students develop confidence, attempt the GED—with many of them passing, and go from there to employment and further schooling. As men and women came through the recovery process, Jane helped them develop practical skills. Many graduates credit her investment leading them on to lives they never imagined possible. We are so grateful for her dedication, generosity and friendship.
This year’s Easter Feast will look very similar to last year’s feast due to the absence of volunteers and social distancing. We served 300 meals at our dinner the previous year, and we will be well prepared to serve even more. Our hurting and hungry neighbors are ready for a fresh start, and that’s what these meals communicate to our guests. We will be holding this celebration on Thursday, April 1, from 4 – 6 PM.
Santa Barbara Community Church will be hosting our first graduation ceremony of the new year. The celebration will be held on Saturday, March 13, 2021, at 1 PM. We will live stream the event on our SBRM YouTube channel.
We kept our annual Christmas traditions with some modifications due to the pandemic. Our men in the recovery program enjoyed a BBQ lunch prepared by staff members in place of volunteers and gift cards were provided by our Women’s Auxiliary.
The Auxiliary also gifted the ladies at Bethel House with a special catered dinner and presents to open. The community came together with donations of new items for our homeless guests to receive as Christmas gifts. Everyone under our roof was remembered and blessed at Christmastime.
We celebrated Thanksgiving with our homeless guests by holding our annual feast. We made changes due to guidelines for COVID-19, which included masks, social distancing, and the absence of volunteers. Our residents in the recovery program cooked 70 turkeys for the feast and also helped to serve. We wanted to continue our tradition of serving restaurant-style, so our staff members, including our president Rolf Geyling, stepped into these roles to make it possible to wait on our guests.
We are thankful for the outpouring of generosity from our donors, who made it possible to offer Thanksgiving meals to our homeless guests. We are looking forward to doing this again in celebration of Christmas!
We are accepting turkeys, canned food, and monetary donations in preparation for our annual Christmas Feast. The turkeys are prepared and cooked in advance. The holiday dinner will include turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, pie, and all the trimmings. Approximately 300 turkeys are needed for all of the meals that will be served throughout the holiday season. We are planning to provide thousands of meals including 300 meals just for Christmas alone.
We will be holding our Christmas Feast this year for our homeless guests before the holiday. Thanks to our Women’s Auxiliary, we will have gifts for all of our guests. As part of the Christmas giveaway, each guest receives at least one brand new item – many haven’t received something new in years! But of course, for the event to be a success, we need enough gifts for everyone. Will you help? We especially need:
• Shoes (all types and sizes, especially work boots)
• Warm jackets and coats
You can either make a financial gift so that the Auxiliary can purchase items or make an appointment to drop off brand new items to the Mission up until December 14. Contact Rebecca Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org 805-966-1316 for more information.
Our annual Thanksgiving Feast will deviate from the long-held tradition of including volunteers due to our adherence to COVID-19 guidelines. We regret not being able to have the festive restaurant service for our guests, but we will make it as special as possible with a traditional menu and all the comforts of home.
WATCH our virtual fall graduation ceremony on Saturday, November 14 at 1 PM. There will be nine men and women who will be completing the 12-month Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program. We will live stream the ceremony on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SantaBarbaraRescueMission
Our 19th annual fundraiser and first virtual event was a complete success raising almost $500,000 to help the men and women struggling with addiction and homelessness at the Rescue Mission. We were thankful to be able to publicly honor Chief of Police Lori Luhnow for her strategic partnership with our organization in protecting the most vulnerable in our community. Our Women’s Auxiliary made this event possible!
On Saturday, July 25, we held a special graduation ceremony for 15 graduates of our 12-month Residential Recovery Program. For social distancing and health purposes, the ceremony was outside in our parking lot and attendance was limited to close family members of the graduates.
The event, which included powerful testimonies from Addie and Ricardo, and an inspiring message from Pastor Paul Nelson of Emanual Lutheran Church, was live-streamed on Facebook. If you didn’t catch the ceremony live, you can still view it by going to our Facebook page.
Amid so much uncertainty, we decided that it was still necessary to offer joy and keep some sense of normalcy for our homeless guests. They were already feeling so displaced in society. While we did not have the full spectrum of carnival games and activities we usually offer our guests at our annual 4th of July celebration, we still had a BBQ Dinner and Raffle. The Women’s Auxiliary provided raffle prizes such as backpacks and gift cards for the guests to win, and dinner was delicious and plentiful as always!
Saturday, October 3, 2020
A VIRTUAL AFTERNOON
We are holding our 19th annual fundraiser through virtual means. This year we will honor Chief of Police Lori Luhnow with our Leni Fe Bland award. For more information, please contact Rebecca Weber at email@example.com or 805-966-1316 ext. 105.
We will not be holding our monthly tours in light of the COVID-19 precautions that we are taking to protect our guest, residents, and community.
We are going to have our annual 4th of July BBQ Dinner and Raffle for our homeless guests. We are disappointed that we will not be able to have our full carnival of games, but due to social distancing and safety, we will be serving dinner in our chapel. Our Women’s Auxiliary is providing fun raffle prizes for the guests to win, such as backpacks and gift cards to restaurants. We need to offer joy and keep some sense of normalcy for our guests who were already feeling displaced in society.
It wasn’t the Easter Feast we had envisioned for our guests, but in light of COVID-19, we have been serving dinners in our chapel with six feet of separation between our guests every night. We realized that although volunteers were not allowed to participate, we could still have special touches with donated flowers from Trader Joe’s and placemats that donors signed and colored. Our meals were served in compostable to-go boxes, and the menu included ham, mac and cheese, Wes’ Famous Carrots, salad, and an option of carrot or chocolate cake for dessert. We are grateful to our donors who provided the over 300 meals served at the feast and more Easter meals on the actual holiday.
We will be holding our annual Easter Feast on Thursday, April 9, 2020, in our remodeled chapel. In order to prevent the spread of the Cornavirus we will not be able to have volunteer help which is a necessary break from tradition. It will be served in shifts to be able to create safe social distancing for all who attend. Our staff will serve meals to men, women and children. Through charitable donations of food items and gifts from the Santa Barbara community we are able to serve up to 300 people in need.
The holidays can be a joyful time, but a lonely time for those that are struggling with poverty, homelessness and addiction. We offer hope and a new beginning, so many of the graduates of our 12-month residential recovery program started here with a simple holiday meal.
We are accepting hams in preparation for the feast!
We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to celebrate the first graduation ceremony of 2020. Santa Barbara Community Church hosted the celebration and reception! We had eight men and four women who participated in the ceremony. We are proud of these courageous individuals who have been able to stay the course and meet the demands of our 12-month recovery program.
We will be holding the first graduation ceremony of 2020 on Saturday, March 7, at 5 p.m. Santa Barbara Community Church, located at 1002 Cieneguitas Road, will host the event. Everyone is invited to attend and participate in this celebration, so please come and join us. There will be a reception immediately following. For more information, please contact us at 805-966-1316.
This year’s annual Christmas Feast was a great success, thanks to donors and volunteers. Sheriff Bill Brown took the time to wait on our guests and offer encouragement to them during the holidays. Our Women’s Auxiliary orchestrated a fantastic giveaway with gifts for every guest who attended.
We will be holding our annual Christmas Feast on Friday, December 20 from 12:00 to 2 p.m. We are reserving all of our volunteer positions for the newcomers who have never served at one of our holiday feasts. These occasions are the ideal opportunity to be introduced to our homeless guests and learn about interacting and serving them. We will begin taking sign-ups on December 1. We encourage those of you who have served before and are well experienced to serve at another time during nightly dinner service throughout the holiday season. If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Women’s Auxiliary will be holding a gift distribution of new items so everyone who attends will receive a Christmas gift. We are accepting new backpacks, shoes, warm jackets, casual clothing, (jeans, sweat pants, sweatshirts) sweaters, and monetary donations. Turkeys and other items can be dropped off at 535 East Yanonali Street Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Our remodeled dining hall is now open, and it will be a wonderful experience this year for all of us, whether it’s during the feast or in the evenings during our regular meal service.
We are accepting turkeys, canned food, and monetary donations in preparation for our annual Christmas Feast on Friday, December 20, from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. Our staff and a team of volunteers are planning to serve over 300 meals to community members in need.
The turkeys are prepared and cooked in advance. The Christmas dinner will include turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, pie…and all the trimmings. Approximately 300 turkeys are needed for all of the meals that will be served throughout the holiday season.
Donations may be dropped off Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Yanonali Street office.
We will be holding our last graduation for 2019 on Saturday, November 2, at 5 p.m. Calvary Baptist Church, located at 736 West Islay Street in Santa Barbara, will host the ceremony and reception. The public is welcome to come and celebrate the accomplishments of our men and women graduation from the 12-month Residential Recovery Program.