Casa Esperanza Homeless Center was selected by Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara staff as the recipient of its 2nd Annual Community Partner of the Year Award. Housing Authority employee Jerry Morales was awarded the Stephen B. Logan Humanitarian of the Year Award and Clarissa Montenegro was voted Employee of the Year.

Mike Foley, Clarissa Montenegro, and Jerry Morales

Casa Esperanza Homeless Center was chosen as 2010 Community Partner of the Year for its tireless dedication to helping those most in need, its successful programs, and effective collaboration with the Housing Authority. The organization was recently presented a plaque for this honor.

Casa Esperanza Homeless Center is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and offers a wide array of services for the homeless, with an emphasis on both emotional and physical health. Twelve different program partners, including the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara collaborate to bring recovery to the homeless. The mission of Casa Esperanza Homeless Center is to assist homeless individuals and families achieve self-sufficiency, by helping as many as possible access the services they need to transition to stable employment and housing.

In 2010, the Housing Authority was able to help place 56 homeless individuals in permanent local housing in partnership with Casa Esperanza Homeless Center. Of the 56, 32 (57%) individuals were chronically homeless (living in a shelter or on the streets for the last year or experienced 4 episodes of homelessness in the past 3 years).

Housing Authority employee, Jerry Morales, has been named the Housing Authority’s 2010 Stephen B. Logan Humanitarian of the Year. Morales was selected by his peers for his instrumental work in improving the lives of those in our community and for his passion for helping others both through his work at the Housing Authority and as a community volunteer. Morales is a Leasing Agent, responsible for coordinating all leasing and inspection aspects of the Housing Authority’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. Morales also serves as Parent-Teacher Association President for La Cumbre Junior High and has helped the Latino Community become more involved with the school.

Morales joined the Housing Authority staff in January 2010. He received a plaque with this honor, $100 Joe’s gift certificate and a $200 donation to a charity of his choice. Recognizing the importance and tremendous need for providing homeless individuals in our community with a warm place to stay, Morales chose to make the donation to the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara to contribute towards the warming center efforts.

Clarissa Montenegro, Housing Authority Office Assistant, was celebrated as Employee of the Year. Montenegro is responsible for coordinating a variety of clerical and administrative tasks for the Resident Services Department. She is also the On-Site Apartment Manager for El Patio Gardens, one of the Housing Authority’s complexes for seniors. Montenegro was selected by her peers for this honor through her true embodiment of the Housing Authority’s core values, the “5 Cs,” which are Compassion, Competency, Communication, Commitment and Cooperation. She is also described as being “the utmost professional, willing to go above and beyond to help and share her knowledge.”

Montenegro was hired by the Housing Authority in August of 2008. She was awarded a $200 Paseo Nuevo gift certificate, special management cash prize, and admission to a housing authority related conference of her choice.

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About the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara’s Community Partner of the Year Award: For over 40 years, the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara, with the help of numerous community partners, has been providing a critical service to those in the City of Santa Barbara. Collaborations with community partners continue to be vital to the success of the Housing Authority and that of its clients, as the organization cannot alone meet all the community’s affordable housing and social service needs for low‐income families and individuals. With this in mind, in 2009 the housing Authority introduced the first annual “Outstanding Community Partner Award” as a way of recognizing and thanking organizations and businesses that help the Housing Authority change lives for the better.

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The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara is a local public agency created for the purpose of providing safe, decent, and quality affordable housing and supportive services to eligible persons with limited incomes, through a variety of federal, state, local and private resources. Since 1969, the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara has developed and/or secured over 3,000 units of affordable rental housing for Santa Barbara.


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