Santa Barbara- S County

Santa Barbara housing authority gives free school supplies to families in need

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara held their "Tools for School" event in Santa Barbara Saturday morning.

The event was held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and gave low income families school supplies their kids may need for the upcoming school year. 

"We have been doing this for about six years now. The main reason we have been doing this is we
feel education is a critical component to lifting families out of poverty," said Executive Director of the Housing Authority, Rob Fredericks. 

The Housing Authority serves over 900 low-income families. They take a holistic approach to helping families health and success.

"Part of that is education starting at a very early age we start with literacy campaigns. Getting them used to books," said Fredericks. 

The organization gave out over 400 backpacks and other school supplies. 

"I got a note pad, this cool backpack, some books and glue and all the stuff you would get in class that you need," said 10-year-old student, Jaylee Farias. 

The event was also a way for families to connect with other community resources.

"We partner with CALM, CA SO, SB City College, the public library. A whole host of community groups that we bring together," said Fredericks. 

The event also offered free dental and eye checks to participants. 

"This is a community that deeply cares about its children and its families," said Chair of the Santa Barbara Housing Commission, Pat Wheatley. 

Families that participated were grateful they had a little help. 

"First of all it's free and, being a single parent I get that extra help for my kids to get them ready for school," said Santa Barbara resident, Norma Pacheco. 

"It shows the willingness of agencies to give up a Saturday," said Wheatley.

One little girl said she felt the communities love.

"It's really nice of them to do it, it's very helpful," said Jaylee Farias. 

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