The Transitional Bed program at Casa Esperanza homeless shelter is not going anywhere for the time being, according the shelter’s Executive Director Mike Foley. An eleventh-hour gift from businessman and billionaire Harold Simmons, a part-time Montecito resident, enabled the shelter to meet, and blow past, the $250,000 matching grant that was fundamental to the program’s surviving through the end of the year, Foley said. In addition to Simmons’ gift of $250,000, two other large gifts were received at the last minute: $50,000 from The Wallis Foundation and $75,000 from longtime Casa supporter Barbara Cartwright. These, plus more than 400 individual donations from community members, have pulled Casa Esperanza, the largest homeless shelter in Santa Barbara County, out of its immediate financial tailspin. But, in a statement released today, Thursday, Foley cautioned that shelter programs are not entirely out of danger. Since county, city, and federal government grants make up only 38 percent of its operating budget, to maintain all its programs, Casa still has to raise $784,000 before June 30, 2011. To read more, see


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