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Joint Response Effort raises almost $4 million for COVID-19 relief


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Nearly $4 million has been raised for Santa Barbara County through the COVID-19 Joint Response Effort to help those in need during the pandemic.

The United Way of Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara Foundation and Hutton Parker Foundation are leading this program to help individuals and families, as well as the nonprofits serving them.

“United Way and its lead partners deeply appreciate our community’s trust in this collaborative effort as we get these funds into the hands of individuals and organizations that desperately need financial support,” said Steve Ortiz, CEO and President of the United Way of Santa Barbara County.

To date, the COVID-19 Joint Response Effort to support Santa Barbara County families has secured more than $1.5 million to provide ongoing relief grants for individuals and families in need. This means that 1,586 households (representing more than 5,200 individuals) have received much-needed support to help meet basic needs like housing and food, medical expenses and other assistance from lost wages.

United Way is working in partnership with Family Service Agency to distribute individual assistance grants to individuals and families in need on a rolling basis for as long as funds are available.

Those still in need of financial assistance are encouraged to apply for funding as soon as possible.

United Way and Family Service Agency are currently reviewing applications and conducting remote interviews with all applicants to verify information and needs to provide case management services and will continue to review and approve individual assistance grants on a rolling basis, as funds remain available.

Applicants must be Santa Barbara County residents and must be able to demonstrate need. Undocumented individuals are eligible to apply for funding. To apply, visit

The COVID-19 Joint Response Effort partnership has also provided close to $1.6 million to 107 local nonprofit organizations to help them meet immediate and long-term community needs.

“Given the long-term nature of this pandemic and its devastating economic impacts, we anticipate that community members will soon face longer-term unmet needs,” said Ortiz, “Additional funds are needed for United Way to continue deploying critical services and for us to continue leading collaborative efforts to address the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Donations to support individuals and families can be made at United Way at

To support local nonprofits serving affected community members, donations can be made at the Santa Barbara Foundation at

Community / Economy / House & Home / Safe at Home / Santa Barbara - South County / Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County
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Genelle Padilla

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