SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The Santa Maria Valley Youth & Family Center is celebrating 50 years of providing assistance to the community, often at the most dire of times and for the most vulnerable among us.
The Center first opened in 1973 as Social Advocates for Youth and by the end of the decade they supported students at three elementary schools and one junior high. Today, the Center has more than 35 Outreach Mentors that serve all 21 campuses in the Santa Maria-Bonita School District.
“Strong families are the cornerstone of strong communities,” said Brian Zimmerman, Director of Student and Family Services for the Santa Maria-Bonita School District. “Santa Maria Valley Youth & Family Center has helped students and their families in our district for generations.”
In 1980, the Center adopted its current name and merged with Family Service Agency (FSA) of Santa Barbara County in 2017 and with The Little House By The Park of Guadalupe in 2019.
“Services have greatly expanded since the mergers,” said Tricia Price, FSA Board Co-President. “Each entity has benefited from the expertise of the other. We’re now providing more comprehensive services at each location, while still appealing to the unique characteristics of each community.”
The Santa Maria Public Library has a display all of May containing five decades of community support from the organization.