Bill Shaub Found a Job

Seven-Month-Long Search Ends in Gainful Employment

It’s a busy Wednesday night at USA Gas on lower Milpas. A man holding a puppy waits while his girlfriend pays for chips and cigarettes; when she steps away, another man in athletic wear steps forward and asks for 20 bucks on pump three; behind him, more customers line up to buy gas. On the other side of the register, 50-year-old Bill Shaub punches prices in, swipes credit cards, makes change and small talk.

Bill Shaub
Click to enlarge photo

Isabelle T. Walker

Bill Shaub

It’s a completely ordinary scene, except that Shaub may just be the happiest, most relieved employee in Santa Barbara. It’s his fifth day of work at USA Gas after a discouraging seven-month job search; a job search that kept coming up empty while he and his wife, Anita, toughed it out at Casa Esperanza, Santa Barbara County’s largest homeless shelter.

“It’s all coming back to me cause I used to do this work back in Texas,” Shaub said when there was a lull in the customers. While living in Texas, Shaub ran a handyman business as well, working and living with his father. But his father died, and the house they shared was sold. Shaub has been unemployed and homeless for three difficult years. He and Anita have been back to Texas twice since first hitchhiking to California. They would look for work for a while, then go home to see if family could help out. Discovering that family could provide little in the way of assistance, they came back here. The last time they returned, they decided to stay and make it work. It’s been touch and go. 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:

Observed Altercation Leads to State Street Car Chase

Crash at De la Vina and Alamar precedes hours-long search for occupant.

Santa Barbara County Sets Carpinteria Cannabis Grow Cap

Neighborhood activist Anna Carrillo scores a victory in limiting pot acreage.

Evacuees Across Santa Barbara County Allowed Back Home This Evening

Mandatory evacuation order lifted for all burn areas.

New Scam Involves ‘Ground Stability Testing’

Fake 'land tech' tried to enter a home on the Westside.

Family Sues Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office for Wrongful Death

Five deputies shot Bryan Carreño 20 times.