Transitional Beds at Casa Esperanza Temporarily Safe

A Last-Minute Donation from Montecito Billionaire Saves the Day

The Transitional Bed program at Casa Esperanza homeless shelter is not going anywhere for the time being, according the shelter’s Executive Director Mike Foley. An eleventh-hour gift from businessman and billionaire Harold Simmons, a part-time Montecito resident, enabled the shelter to meet, and blow past, the $250,000 matching grant that was fundamental to the program’s surviving through the end of the year, Foley said. In addition to Simmons’ gift of $250,000, two other large gifts were received at the last minute: $50,000 from The Wallis Foundation and $75,000 from longtime Casa supporter Barbara Cartwright. These, plus more than 400 individual donations from community members, have pulled Casa Esperanza, the largest homeless shelter in Santa Barbara County, out of its immediate financial tailspin. But, in a statement released today, Thursday, Foley cautioned that shelter programs are not entirely out of danger. Since county, city, and federal government grants make up only 38 percent of its operating budget, to maintain all its programs, Casa still has to raise $784,000 before June 30, 2011. To read more, see

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Jon Peterson Departs Habitat for Humanity

Takes a post with Covenant Trust Company of Chicago.

Montecito Pushes Back on Streamlined Rebuild Process

Not so fast with fast-track rebuilding, leaders tell the county

St. George Files Suit Against Gelb for Unpaid Debt

Pair of Isla Vista landlords in legal tussle over property sales costs.

Thousands of Plaintiffs Added to Refugio Oil Spill Case

Litigation follows footsteps of 1969 Union Oil spill attorneys.

Push Comes to Shove Between Law Enforcement and Mental Health

County supervisors confront too many needs with not enough money.