Book to Action: Meeting Folks Where They're At| Central

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Meeting Folks Where They're At: How Santa Barbara Organizations are Addressing the Immediate Needs of Our Unhoused Neighbors and How You Can Help

While Santa Barbara desperately needs more affordable housing, there is also a need to address the welfare and dignity of people who are currently unhoused. Join us for a discussion with organizations currently working to address the needs of local unhoused residents and learn how you can get involved.

Featured speakers include:

  • Maggie Sanchez, Executive Director of Doctors Without Walls - Santa Barbara Street Medicine, sharing her organization's efforts to provide healthcare to unhoused members of our community
  • Landon Ranck, Operations Manager of SB ACT, which coordinates the many organizations providing services at Neighborhood Navigation Centers and supports the Citywide coalition and strategic planning to reduce homelessness in Santa Barbara
  • Julia and Alexa from the People's Pantry, a local mutual aid group providing access to hygiene items, food, and basic necessities to community members
  • members of the Committee for Social Justice, sharing the perspective of those with lived experience in the unhoused community who advocate for people experiencing homelessness in Santa Barbara

The discussion will be moderated by Molly Wetta, Library Services Manager, who oversees the Library's Community Connections programs which provide resource navigation and informational referrals to vulnerable members of the community and is a member of the City of Santa Barbara's Homelessness Response team. 

To complement the discussion, we'll also feature an exhibit exploring the lives of unhoused individuals during the pandemic. 38 individuals experiencing homelessness were given disposable cameras to take photos as part of a study in partnership with the Cottage Center for Population Health on how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their daily lives. Photos will be on display in the lobby as well as highlights from this research project. 

Attendees are welcome to bring donations for the People's Pantry -- see the wishlist for items in high demand. 

This project was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.


Participants in this event may be photographed by Library staff. These photos may be used in promotional or educational publications, including in print, social media, and presentations. Please see staff if you do not consent to having your photo taken. Staff will obtain individual, signed photo releases of photographs that contain only an individual as opposed to a group.