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:

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.

County Race for Auditor-Controller Turns Ugly

An unexpected bloodbath erupts between Jen Christensen and Betsy Schaffer.

Gun Restraining Order Used 20 Times in Santa Barbara County

Only Los Angeles County used the order more frequently.