Credit: Courtesy of Meadow Rose Lancaster

On July 1, 12 young people between the ages of 18 and 24 will have a place to call home when they move into a new residence on West Canon Perdido Street. The recently renovated triplex will provide a safe and comfortable home for young people who are currently in unstable housing situations, ranging from living in their cars and couch surfing to sleeping on the streets. 

Named the Lisa Smith Wengler Foundation House, it is the newest program of the Turner Foundation, an organization that owns and operates two low-income apartment communities in Santa Barbara. For those young people transitioning out of foster care, experiencing trauma at home, or facing economic challenges, the Lisa Smith Wengler Foundation House aims to provide a support system that will help them navigate the steps to a stable and fulfilling adulthood.

The Turner Foundation, in partnership with My Home, a program of the YMCA’s Youth and Family Services branch, will provide each youth with educational or vocational support, as well as weekly case management. Two live-in residential assistants will offer ongoing guidance and support.

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Residents who attend Santa Barbara City College will also have access to academic support through programs such as Extended Opportunities Programs and Services and The Promise, and those choosing a vocational path will be connected to community resources to provide training and employment opportunities.

My Home Program Director, Kaylie Reynolds, said, “I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this collaborative project! I’ve assisted youth who are experiencing homelessness for years, and knowing there is going to be guaranteed housing options specific to supporting their unique needs is literally a dream come true. Not my dream — theirs.”

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