The Turner Foundation is on the hunt for a new set of wheels as part of its “Van for the Village” fundraising campaign, which would provide another mode of transportation for tenants of The Village apartments on West Canon Perdido Street.
The Village, a 70-unit complex owned by the nonprofit foundation, is made mostly of Section 8 housing. In addition to supplying low-income families with residences, the Turner Foundation has taken a number of steps to maintain a safe, educational, and healthy environment for the tenants and their children.
Consequently, all rental income is reinvested right back into the apartments. This allows the foundation to host a number of workshops, art activities, an intern program for local college students, musical instruction, after-school tutoring programs, and a number of field trips for the kids. The Village also provides an on-site pastor and food supplied from the Santa Barbara Foodbank. For many of the tenants, who are mostly single-parent families, finding transportation is a time-consuming and costly task, which is what inspired the foundation to raise funds for a van.
The Turner Foundation was established in 1958 by Dr. Albert Turner in Riverside, California. There, he founded the Rose Garden Village, which became the government’s first project under Section 231 of the Federal Housing Administration. Turner’s grandson, Todd Wilson, took over the foundation and relocated to Santa Barbara in 2003 and is currently the chief operating officer.
The foundation, say its representatives, has made a genuine effort to raise the standard of living for its residents. “An on-site Santa Barbara Police substation helped to move the bad element out of the Village, and a tough zero tolerance on drugs has reshaped the identity of the Village. Conditions improved and the substation is no longer necessary,” said foundation media spokesperson Gino Flowers. “The Village staff works closely with the families, and everyone is known to each other by name.”
Flowers hopes to raise the funds for the van through a number of sources, including donations from the Santa Barbara community and local philanthropic organizations, such as the Santa Barbara Round Table Foundation and Kiwanis Club.
For more information on how to donate, contact the foundation at (805) 730-1200 or www.theturnerfoundation.com.