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:

Natural History Museum Begins Vertebrate Preservation Project

The project will move 45,000 specimens into bug-proof conservation boxes.

Santa Barbara Joins in on 2019 Women’s March

Santa Barbara participates in annual national Women’s March on Saturday.

Federal Workers Get Utility Bill Break from Lompoc

City decides to extend utility due dates for federal employees during government shutdown.

Have a Thorny Saturday with the Rose Society

Annual Mission Rose Garden Pruning takes place January 19; volunteers invited to bring shears and gloves.

Edison Company Counter-Sues County and City

Claims they were aware of risks underlying original Thomas Fire and debris flow lawsuit.