Bernis Andrew

Nick St. Oegger

Bernis Andrew

Homeless Woman Dies in Fast Food Restaurant

Injured Elderly Woman Collapsed Early Monday Morning

Last November, a 70-year-old homeless woman named Bernis Andrew predicted she wouldn’t make it through the winter. In the end, it was the spring she didn’t survive.

On April 24, at around 8 a.m., Andrew collapsed in the bathroom of the State Street McDonald’s. Another patron found her. Paramedics tried to resuscitate her but failed. We won’t know for a while what the immediate cause of death was, but being homeless, living outside, sleeping on a bench month after month, must have played a major role.

Andrew’s story is especially sad not just because she was an elderly woman who endured multiple injuries while pushing a walker through days with nowhere to go. But also because she did have opportunities to move inside. Hands had been extended to her but for reasons that are hard to understand, she would not, or could not, grab hold of them. Andrew was an enigma; smart, resilient, kind, grateful for kindnesses extended to her and nonjudgmental.

To read more, see

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

event calendar sponsored by:

County Half-Jokes It Wants Cannabis ‘World Domination’

A government executive implores growers to get legal before time runs out.

Oversized Vehicle Parking Ban Extended

New rule affects Isla Vista, Vandenberg Village, and Butterfly Beach.

Alvarado Endorsed by Capps, Lurie for School Board

He's running against seven other people for two open seats.

Latinos Are Being Pushed Out of Santa Barbara in Droves

New census data shows their population has shrunk by 24 percent since 2011.

Police Suspend Public Sleeping Laws

The non-enforcement comes in response to a new court ruling.